Jackson guides Pistons past Portland
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Reggie Jackson and the Detroit Pistons picked up right where they left off against Portland.
Jackson scored 30 points, and the Pistons beat the Trail Blazers 123-103 on Sunday night.
Back in November, Detroit outscored Portland 41-11 in the fourth quarter in a 120-103 win. On Sunday, the Pistons led 30-16 after one and never trailed.
"I think we played the way we wanted to play tonight," Jackson said. "It starts with our defense, once again."
Jackson scored 40 points when Detroit beat Portland on Nov. 8, including 26 in the fourth quarter. He had 11 in the first quarter Sunday.
Andre Drummond finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit, and Marcus Morris added 19 points. Jackson had nine assists along with all of his scoring.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 26 points but shot 8 of 22 from the field. He was coming off a 50-point game in a loss at Toronto.
"We didn't come out with the right type of focus I guess and the right amount of intensity on the defensive end," he said.
Detroit led 58-51 at halftime, then scored the first nine points of the third quarter, taking a 16-point lead on Jackson's driving layup.
Portland has lost three in a row after winning 14 of its previous 16. This was the end of a six-game road trip.
"We knew it was going to be a tough trip," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "It was good to get the three wins and certainly after winning the first three you hope to get another win or two on the road, but we're going to be tested from here on out."
C.J. McCollum scored 22 points, but the Blazers couldn't stop Detroit defensively.
Tobias Harris capped a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer that put Detroit ahead 27-13. It was 38-21 after Reggie Bullock connected from beyond the arc.
Detroit led 85-75 after three quarters, then Morris and Steve Blake pushed the lead to 14 with consecutive jumpers, and the game eventually became a blowout.
The Pistons went 12 of 22 from 3-point range, while Portland was 11 of 31.
Mason Plumlee, Portland's starting center, scored only four points with two rebounds.
Detroit (32-31) pulled into a virtual tie with Chicago (31-30) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons now go on a four-game road trip.
"We need to go out and really play well on the road," Van Gundy said. "We're down to 19 games. We've got 11 of them at home and eight on the road — four in a row right now."
Portland (33-31) is seventh in the West, a half-game behind Dallas.
KAMAN FOR 3
Portland's Chris Kaman made a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in the game. It was the first made 3-pointer of the 7-footer's 13-year career. He had been 0 for 23 from beyond the arc.
Bullock had 11 points and seven rebounds and made every shot he took. He's been getting more playing time of late because Stanley Johnson has been out with a shoulder injury.
"It's been great," Van Gundy said. "To sit for 45, 50 games, not playing, and then play pretty well. You have to give guys a lot of credit."
Trail Blazers: Portland was 22 of 23 from the free throw line. ... Al-Farouq Aminu scored 16 points.
Pistons: Harris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points apiece.
Trail Blazers: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
Pistons: At Dallas on Wednesday night.