The Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns met for the first time this season in what could be the final contest for a number of players on Detroit’s roster. In a battle of two likely-lottery teams, it was the Pistons who were able to pull out the late victory, 116-108, backed by Andre Drummond – who may have just played his final game with Detroit.
First Observation: Dominating the Paint
Playing against a team missing the majority of their big men, both Andre Drummond and Christian Wood were able to take advantage early. Detroit finished with nine offensive rebounds, six between Wood and Dre, en route to 14 second-chance points in the first half.
Drummond finished with one of his most dominate performances of the year, putting up 31 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Wood also had one of his best contests, finishing the game with 21 points of his own – third highest on the team.
Second Observation: Suns Rely Heavily on Key Players
With only eight players getting court time for Phoenix, the team went to their key players more often than not throughout the game. With playmaker Ricky Rubio held in check in the scoring column, it was the Suns’ other four starters – Booker, Bridges, Ayton, and Oubre – who took on nearly all of the offensive load.
Devin Booker (22), DeAndre Ayton (26), and Kelly Oubre (30) all showed bouts of dominance as both the Pistons’ perimeter and interior defense couldn’t stifle the opponent as planned tonight.
The Suns’ other three scorers off the bench combined for just 13 of their total 108 points on the night.
Third Observation: Action Jackson
With Derrick Rose sidelined yet again, it was Reggie Jackson who received the starting nod tonight. Jackson’s game was all over the place, with a cold streak following a hot start, with “Action Jackson” eventually able to help orchestrate Detroit’s victory.
In one of his more encouraging performances in recent memory, Reggie Jackson dropped an emphatic 25 points and 9 assists as he continues to show he’s a healthy contributor again.