Notebook: Jazz 103, Pistons 90



Posted Mar 12, 2013 1:28 AM

Andrew Aragon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: After a brutally unsuccessful four-game road trip, the Utah Jazz were able to get back on track at home -- and against a favorable opponent.

The Jazz rolled past the Pistons 103-90 on Monday night, handing Detroit its sixth straight defeat. Mo Williams had 20 points and six assists, while Al Jefferson had his 29th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Utah.

Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter both came off the bench and scored 14 points apiece for Utah.

Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko each scored 15 points for the Pistons, who have lost 15 straight road games against Western Conference opponents. Monroe also had 13 rebounds to record his 30th double-double of the season.

QUOTABLE: "It was great. Any time you're on the road and you come back that first game back is traditionally a tough game for you, but I thought our guys were really focused. They understood the sense of urgency, regardless of who we are playing or how we have to get better as a team and how we have to perform."

-- Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin

THE STAT: The Jazz are tough to beat at home when they're dominant on the boards, and they were against Detroit on Monday. They had a 47-30 edge in rebounds against the Pistons with 11 of the boards coming on offense. It was quite the discrepancy after the two teams had the same number of rebounds the first time they played in Detroit earlier this season.

TURNING POINT: After a sluggish first quarter, the Jazz built a comfortable lead in the second period. They went on a 12-0 run to build a 36-21 lead, and then were able to mostly coast the rest of the way. Jeremy Evans started the spurt with a rare long jumper, and Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward drained back-to-back 3-pointers. Hayward's 3 was a momentum changer -- and came at the end of a long possession. Evans collected two offensive rebounds on that possession after misses by Burks and Hayward before Hayward buried a long bomb to put Utah ahead 32-21.

HOT: Marvin Williams had one of his best all-around games at home this season. He shot 5-for-8 and had six rebounds, four assists and two steals while giving the Jazz a lift off the bench, Kanter continues to progress. He shot 7-for-9 and had eight rebounds. Fans were upset when he was pulled out of the game in the fourth quarter, and booed as Jefferson replaced him. Evans was efficient for the Jazz as he had eight points, seven rebounds, a career-high five assists and two blocked shots in 24 minutes. Overall, Utah's bench was solid as it outscored Detroit's starters, 54-49. Jose Calderon was outstanding for Detroit, as he shot 6-for-8, scored 14 points, dished seven assists and had two steals. Khris Middleton shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 12 points for the Pistons.

NOT: It's been a difficult couple of days for Detroit's Brandon Knight. After one of the season's most memorable dunks came at his expense by the Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan on Sunday -- a highlight that was shown relentlessly by national TV shows on Monday -- Knight suffered an injury against Utah. He sprained his left ankle less than four minutes into Monday's game and did not return. For the Jazz, Randy Foye shot 0-for-4 from 3-point range, while Burks shot 2-for-7 and had four turnovers in 22 minutes.

QUOTABLE II: "Guys definitely played hard tonight. We came up short obviously, but the effort was definitely there. If we would have made a couple more shots, we could have been in a position to win the game, and if we got a couple more stops. I think they really hurt us on the offensive glass. That might have been the key to the game tonight."

-- Pistons center Monroe

GOOD MOVE: The Pistons kept fighting after falling behind by 18 in the first half. In the second game of a four-game road trip, Detroit came out after halftime and made a game of it. The Pistons picked up their pace, shot 60.9 percent in the third quarter and scored 33 points. Calderon led the way, making all of his four attempts and Middleton sank two of his 3-pointers in the third quarter. Detroit wasn't able to win in Utah for the first time since the 2002-03 season after getting within five points in the fourth quarter, but it did leave with something to build on and gave a much better effort than it did against the Clippers on Sunday.

BAD MOVE: Detroit's offense was a mess at times against Utah, featuring poor shot selection and a lack of ball movement. The Pistons dished just 14 assists, while subpar shooting nights from Kyle Singler (1-for-6), Charlie Villanueva (1-for-7) and Will Bynum (0-for-5 in the second half, 4-for-11 overall) didn't help. It was understandable that Detroit's offense didn't flow well without Knight, the team's second-leading scorer, for most of the game.

NOTABLE: Utah's Paul Millsap did not play because of a bruised knee. It was the fourth game he's missed in the Jazz's last seven contests, but just the 15th game he's missed in six seasons. Detroit's Jason Maxiell did not dress for Monday's game because of a sprained right ankle. He had started in all of Detroit's games prior to facing the Jazz. The Pistons have lost 32 of their last 33 road games against Western Conference opponents.

UP NEXT: For the Pistons, Wednesday @ Golden State, Saturday @ Portland, Monday vs. Brooklyn. For the Jazz, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Saturday vs. Memphis, Monday vs. New York.