The Utah Jazz have displayed a top offense all season. Their defense is now also showing flashes of brilliance.
Utah looks to continue both its recent strong defensive play and its recent success against the Detroit Pistons when the teams meet Sunday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Jazz (9-4) averaged 109.7 points during a 7-2 start, but they also allowed opponents to score 100 points or more in five of their first six games.
Their defense has clamped down in the last two contests - a 102-75 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday and a 99-71 win against the New Orleans Hornets on Friday. Utah held New Jersey and New Orleans to combined 34 percent shooting from the field.
Carlos Boozer led seven Jazz players in double figures with 19 points and added 16 rebounds Friday, while reserves Jason Hart and Ronnie Price combined for 23 points.
"There were a lot of people that played well, but those two guys made a huge difference in the ball game," coach Jerry Sloan said of Hart and Price.
Sunday's game opens a three-game road trip for the Jazz, who are 3-3 away from Salt Lake City. Utah, which also visits New York and Philadelphia on this trip, plays 13 of its next 18 on the road through the end of December
The Jazz have swept their two-game series with the Pistons (8-4) the last two seasons, but that run of success may be difficult to sustain against a Pistons team that is 4-0 at home.
The Pistons are trying to open the season with five consecutive wins at the Palace for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Like the Jazz, Detroit has won two straight games. The Pistons endured one of their worst offensive nights of the season Friday, but managed to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 83-78.
"It was one of those games that was like going to the dentist," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders, whose team scored a season low. "It was like pulling teeth. We try to get something going, then we get something going and we came down."
Tayshaun Prince had 15 points and seven rebounds to lead Detroit, which placed all its starters in double figures.
"It was an ugly game," guard Chauncey Billups told the Pistons' official Web site. "There were times I was sitting on the bench, I was like, 'Man, this game is boring' ... But you've got to find a way to win ugly games like this."
Rasheed Wallace missed the game after sitting out Wednesday's second half with a sore knee. His status is uncertain for this contest. Richard Hamilton was held to 11 points - well below his 17.4 season average - while hampered by flu-like symptoms.
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