AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Reggie Jackson had trouble calming down in his Detroit Pistons debut. Once his stomach stopped churning, Jackson showed how much he could impact his new team.
Jackson missed his first eight field-goal attempts but overcame the slow start to contribute 17 points, five rebounds and five assists in Detroit’s 106-89 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday afternoon at The Palace. The 24-year-old point guard was acquired in a trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday.
“I was confident going in,” said Jackson, who will be a restricted free agent after the season. “I thought things were going to go well, but I just kept putting pressure on myself.”
The pressure built up to the point where his nervousness was on full display.
“He was so hyped up that when we first took him out, he was throwing up on the sideline,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He had so much nervous energy. But in the second half, he looked like the guy we traded for. He was attacking the basket, using his athleticism and making plays.”
Jackson had plenty of assistance as five of his teammates reached double figures. Backcourt partner Kentavious Caldwell-Pope poured in 26 points, including 13 during the third quarter when the Pistons outscored the Wizards 35-19 to take command.
“I just wanted to continue to shoot the ball and stay in that rhythm,” said Caldwell-Pope, who was two points shy of his season high and tied his career high with six 3-pointers. “I was feeling good once I released it.”
Center Andre Drummond supplied 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons (23-33), who are 2-0 since the All-Star break. Power forward Greg Monroe added 15 points and 15 rebounds, and reserve forward Anthony Tolliver chipped in 13 points for Detroit.
Jackson scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting after halftime.
“The young guys were building me up and the older guys were building me up,” he said. “They kept saying, ‘Just play your game, relax and continue to be aggressive.’ I thank my coaches and my teammates for believing in me and really getting me over the hump.”
Center Marcin Gortat’s 24 points and 10 rebounds led the Wizards (33-23), who have lost three straight, including a 38-point thumping by Cleveland in their first game after the All-Star break.
Washington shooting guard Garrett Temple had 12 points and forward Kris Humphries added 11. Point guard John Wall had 10 points on 5-of-16 shooting and dished out 12 assists.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman was frustrated with his club’s lack of aggression. It attempted only 14 free throws, including none by Wall.
“We don’t have guys that will put the ball on the floor and attack the rim, get cheap fouls and get to the free-throw line,” he said. “We continually took contested shots. That hurt us. It’s that snowball effect. It’s the little things that add up to big things. They continue getting bigger and bigger as we speak.”
Gortat and Humphries made all 13 of their field-goal attempts in the first half to give Washington a 52-47 halftime lead.
Jackson missed his first eight field-goal attempts and failed to score until he made two free throws with 1:10 remaining in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer on the Pistons’ final possession of the half to pull them within five.
Detroit scored the last 11 points of the third quarter to take an 82-71 lead. Drummond started the run with a three-point play, and Caldwell-Pope finished it with two 3-pointers sandwiching a steal and dunk.
The lead ballooned to 16 when Tolliver drained a three to make it 94-78.
“For whatever reason we stopped focusing,” Washington Temple said. “We kind of got a little comfortable. We took a few bad shots that led to them getting some easy points.”
NOTES: Pistons SF Tayshaun Prince was active but did not play. Prince, a member of Detroit’s 2004 championship team, was re-acquired in a trade with Boston on Thursday but did not arrive in time for Saturday’s practice. Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy anticipates that Prince will return to action against Cleveland on Tuesday. “We’ll get a day in with Tayshaun (Monday) and he’ll be ready to go Tuesday,” Van Gundy said. “He’ll be a big help to us down the stretch.” … Washington SG Bradley Beal missed his fifth consecutive game with a right leg injury. … The Wizards won the first meeting 107-103 on Nov. 12. They will play once more at Washington on Saturday night. … Wizards PG John Wall now leads all NBA guards with 30 double-doubles. … Pistons SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the only current NBA player 21 or younger with 100 3-point makes this season.
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