AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — This season has been a struggle for Reggie Jackson, the point guard in whom the Detroit Pistons have invested so much.
“At times, you start feeling sorry for yourself,” Jackson said. “You can’t do that. You’ve just got to go out here and play — good, bad or indifferent.”
Jackson scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half — making all 10 of his field goal attempts after halftime — and Detroit pulled away down the stretch for a 109-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. The Pistons climbed into a tie for the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference with the Bulls, who were playing without the injured Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.
Jackson’s performance has been spotty this season, and at times backup Ish Smith has seemed like a better option late in games. But Jackson was instrumental in helping the Pistons take control in a game Monday that was tied at 79 after three quarters.
Afterward, Jackson was reflective on a difficult season that began with knee problems that kept him out until December. He’s been plagued by inconsistency since returning.
“I think what helped me for the most part was watching the team still play well. Throughout my struggles, they kept picking me up and find a way to get wins,” he said. “I just thank them.”
Detroit started the fourth with a 12-3 run and held Chicago to 16 points in the quarter. A hanging jumper by Jackson from near the elbow turned into a three-point play when he was fouled, and that gave the Pistons a 102-88 lead with 3:13 to play.
“We did get stagnant. We missed a couple of good looks early in the quarter that I thought affected us, but you’ve got to continue to play through it,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Jimmy Butler scored 27 points for Chicago.
Detroit trailed 26-14 after a lackluster first quarter, but the Pistons cut it to just four at halftime. Jackson scored Detroit’s first eight points of the third quarter, including two 3-pointers.