Pistons try to keep it close, but ultimately lose to Spurs, 106-91

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The Detroit Pistons threatened to rally back from big deficits several times Thursday. But the San Antonio Spurs — and point guard Derrick White — were ultimately too much for the Pistons to handle.

White had 26 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three blocks to hand the Pistons a 106-91 loss.

Josh Jackson led Detroit with 29 points on 11-for 20 shooting, and Frank Jackson added 14 points off of the bench. Killian Hayes, who started on Thursday after missing Wednesday's game on the first half of a back-to-back, scored 12 points and dished five assists.

The Pistons (18-42) trailed by double digits for much of the second half, but used a 13-0 run in the third quarter and 13-2 run in the fourth, to cut the deficit to three and two, respectively. But they ultimately couldn't muster enough scoring punch outside of both Jacksons. They were without several key players due to injury and rest, including starters Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee.

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You can usually tell what type of night it’ll be for Josh Jackson by how he opens the game. When he makes his first handful of shots, good things usually follow.

So it was a good sign when Jackson hit his first 3-point attempt midway through the first quarter to tie the game, 7-7. He kept rolling from there, finishing aggressive drives to the rim and getting to his midrange jumper. Toward the end of the quarter, he knocked down a step-back 3 — freezing Rudy Gay in place — for his fifth basket of the night.

By that point, he had 14 points and hadn’t missed a shot yet.

Since scoring a season-high 31 points on April 1, Jackson has been one of Detroit’s best players, averaging 16.4 points four rebounds and 2.4 assists on 46.8% overall shooting and 44.9% shooting from behind the arc this month entering Thursday.

He almost singlehandedly kept the Pistons in the game early. He had more points (14, 5-for-8 shooting) than the rest of his teammates combined (11 points, 5-for-13 shooting) at the end of the first quarter. Jackson caused Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout after grabbing his own missed layup and laying it back in midway through the third.

That bucket came in the midst of a 13-0 Pistons run that cut the deficit to 71-68 at the 4:42 mark of the third. But the Spurs answered with a 9-0 run to regain control.

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After getting off to a solid start to his career with the Pistons after arriving from Oklahoma City, Hamidou Diallo has been in a slump during the last few weeks. He entered Thursday’s game shooting just 3 for 23 overall in his last four games.

Diallo finished with just five points on 2-for-6 overall shooting against the Spurs, but he appeared to find some momentum in the third quarter after hitting a pair of difficult layups during a 13-2 Pistons run that cut the deficit to one. It’s possible that Detroit’s lack of spacing has impacted Diallo, who prefers doing most of his scoring at the rim. The Pistons were without Grant and Wayne Ellington on Thursday, making the driving lanes a little tighter.