'This is good momentum': Frank Jackson's season-high 23 points help Pistons to post back-to-back wins
A win streak is a win streak, even if it comes against the team struggling most in the league
With the way the season has gone, the Pistons will take consecutive wins wherever they can get them.
They followed up Wednesday’s solid win over the Toronto Raptors with a 113-100 road win over the Houston Rockets on Friday at Toyota Center, getting back-to-back victories for just the second time this season.
Frank Jackson had a season-high 23 points, Saddiq Bey 20 points, Josh Jackson 15 points and Isaiah Stewart 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons (12-29).
The wins haven’t been easy to come by because of roster attrition and young players, but getting two wins in a row is something the Pistons can take pride in, especially being led by some of their young core.
“That's our main focus — all we want to do is win. When we can get a win, it feels good,” Frank Jackson said. “We have to focus on the next one now. There are a lot of games ahead of us in the second half of the season and we just have to keep moving forward. Obviously, we're trying to win every game, so this is good momentum.”
That the Pistons were able to excel with Jerami Grant having an off-game (18 points on 5-of-21 shooting from the field) was a surprise, as was Frank Jackson’s offensive outburst. He went 7-of-10 from the field, and made all five of his 3-pointers, en route to eclipsing his previous season high of 10 points.
For the struggling Rockets (11-29), it was their 19th straight loss, including the last 12 games by double digits. They just welcomed back Christian Wood, who had missed 17 games because of a severe ankle injury.
The Pistons led, 55-51, at halftime, and Frank Jackson opened the third quarter with a lay-in and a 3-pointer. The Rockets answered with an 8-2 run, with a three-point play by John Wall (21 points and seven assists) and a 3-pointer by Wood (18 points and 11 rebounds).
Jackson, who had 10 points in the quarter, ended the spurt with a 3-pointer and the Pistons pushed the lead to nine after Bey made a pair of free throws and Grant added three free throws for a 70-61 lead.
“He works his behind off every day on his shooting. He's been a shooter, but he goes in with a timeline of the young group that we have that (general manager Troy Weaver) has brought in,” coach Dwane Casey said of Frank Jackson. “It's a great fit. We hope for him to emulate Wayne Ellington every night and become that guy and be around Wayne, where Wayne rubs off on him — and I think it has. He's been working hard on his 3-point shooting, because that's a very important facet of today's game.”
Josh Jackson led a surge to end the quarter with a dunk and Bey added a 3-pointer and another jumper, and the lead was 84-77 after the third period.
The Pistons took control in the fourth with Josh Jackson hitting a jumper and Bey adding a three-point play to push the margin to 12. The Rockets got within five with 6:30 remaining, but the Pistons had an 11-0 run, with four points from Delon Wright and a 3-pointer from Grant, to help seal the win.
Casey said some of the solid play was due to their shootaround on Friday morning.
“We worked on just switching this morning in our shootaround, so that's something we want to focus on throughout the rest of the year because we don't have a lot of practice time, so we want to utilize every minute we can to work on some type of fundamental,” Casey said. “Hopefully, it carries over, and then also to continue to grow it the rest of the season.”