In a dramatic clash, Reggie Jackson stepped into the spotlight, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to propel the Denver Nuggets (10-4) to a hard-fought 107-103 win over the struggling Detroit Pistons (2-13) on Monday night.
Jackson’s stellar performance, coupled with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 20 points against their former team, proved instrumental in overcoming the absence of Nikola Jokic, who, along with coach Michael Malone, was ejected in a fiery first half.
Despite Jokic’s early exit after receiving his second technical, the Nuggets found resilience in Jackson’s late-game heroics.
Michael Porter Jr. contributed with 14 points and 11 rebounds, aiding Denver in snapping a two-game losing streak.
Jokic’s ejection, stemming from a second technical with 1:22 remaining in the second quarter, limited his impact to nine points, five rebounds, and five assists in just 15 minutes of play.
The absence of Jamal Murray, sidelined for the seventh consecutive game due to a hamstring injury, added further challenge for the defending NBA champions.
Cade Cunningham led the Pistons’ effort with an impressive 27 points and nine assists, while Marvin Bagley III contributed 18 points.
However, Detroit’s struggles persisted, marking their 12th consecutive loss and extending a challenging stretch with 36 losses in their last 40 games.
The game reached a critical juncture in the final minutes, with Aaron Gordon’s three-point play giving the Nuggets a 106-103 lead.
Denver’s defense then thwarted the Pistons’ attempts, allowing the clock to run down to 11 seconds. Jackson sealed the win with a free throw, securing a 107-103 victory for the Nuggets.