Jackson, Bobcats hand Pistons 4th straight loss
By DANA WAKIJI
FOX Sports Detroit
Feb. 2, 2011
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Pistons managed to live through Snowpocalypse 2011, but they didn't do quite as well against Charlotte's Stephen Jackson.
Jackson exposed the Detroit defense to the tune of a season-high 39 points as the Bobcats ruined the Pistons' home mojo, 97-87.
It wasn't so much Jackson's outside shooting but the way he ambled his way to the basket for a layup when the Pistons had cut the lead to seven points.
And in case the name sounds familiar, yes, it's that Stephen Jackson, of Malice at the Palace fame.
The fans -- announced at just 14,376 despite the offer of free 200-level tickets because of the snowstorm -- recognized Jackson. They heckled him and he gave it right back. Not to worry, he gave it right back from the court.
One fan made a crying gesture with his hands when the Pistons had the lead. Jackson responded with his own crying gesture after making a shot.
"People don't understand that when you boo me I play better," Jackson said. "It's all fun. People still think about the incident that happened here and I hate that it happened but I'm just here playing basketball and having fun. I love hecklers."
Sure, it's all fun when you win your third road game out of six played in nine days on the road.
The Pistons had talked about February's nine home games and how they were playing teams they were chasing for the eighth spot in the playoffs, but it just didn't look like it.
"It's tough, especially since it's a team we were hunting for in the East," said Austin Daye, who had 11 points. "For us to drop a game like this the way we did, it hurts."
The Pistons were hurting trying to find some offense with Rodney Stuckey still out with a sore shoulder, yet there was Rip Hamilton, dressed but still glued to the bench.
"He wasn't going to play tonight," coach John Kuester said. "He had told Arnie (Kander, Pistons athletic trainer). He just dressed."
The Pistons shot just 38.5 percent in the first half, despite not having played a game since Sunday.
"I thought the start of the third we did a great job, I was pleased with our energy and guys were doing a great job," Kuester said. "Then we got tired. Before you blink an eye, the end of that third going into the fourth, when they stretched that lead, we were fighting uphill the whole way."
To add insult to injury, former Piston Kwame Brown had 14 points and 10 rebounds, his fifth double-double in the last 11 games. He had two in two seasons with the Pistons.
But perhaps the saddest stat is that after 49 games, the Pistons have a 17-32 record, identical to their record after 49 games last season, when they were plagued by injuries.
They finished 27-55 last season. Despite some recent improvement, it wouldn't be farfetched to think they'd finish close to that again this season.
"It's disappointing but we've got to regroup," Kuester said. "The bottom line is we've got a lot of basketball left, we've got to stay positive and continually work hard and that's the bottom line. We've got a lot of basketball left in this season and we've got to continue to grind this thing."
Oh, well, it could be worse. They could be the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost 22 straight and 32 of the last 33 for an 8-41 record.