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Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard both spoke highly of their time in Detroit.
Small consolation for the Pistons after those two led the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers to a remarkable triumph in Motown.
Jackson sank a jumper with 2.3 seconds left versus his former team, giving the Clippers their seventh consecutive victory, 100-98 over Detroit on Wednesday night. The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter despite playing without several key players.
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris were all out for Los Angeles.
“We have a deep team,” Kennard said. “We’ve got guys that can play.”
The Clippers trailed by five in the final minute, but Terance Mann made it 98-95 with a dunk, and after Detroit’s Jerami Grant turned the ball over near midcourt, Jackson connected from 3-point range to tie it with 19.0 seconds left.
Amir Coffey then came up with a steal on the ensuing inbound pass, and after a timeout, Jackson dribbled the clock down and sank a jumper from near the top of the key.
Killian Hayes missed a 3-pointer at the other end.
“I made a couple mistakes at the end,” Grant said. “I’ll take the blame for it.”
Jackson and Kennard were both with the Pistons last season. Jackson agreed to a contract buyout before the campaign was over, and Kennard was dealt in the offseason.
“To come here, play here for 5 1/2 seasons was a blessing,” Jackson said. “Learning how to try to be consistent. It shaped me on and off the court. … I’ll forever have that Piston blood running through my veins.”
Kennard’s comments were similar.
“I love the city of Detroit. I always will,” he said. “The people here were really great to me.”
Grant scored 28 points and Saddiq Bey added 17 for Detroit.
Jackson ended with 29. Kennard had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Detroit led 77-73 after three quarters, and a 3-pointer by Bey made it 89-80 around the midway point of the fourth. Grant’s jumper made it 93-82.
The Pistons played two games in a row versus the Clippers. They lost 131-124 at Los Angeles on Sunday. The Clippers had a game in between.