The Roundup—Jazz 87, Pistons 92
By Matt Payne, utahjazz.com
Utah fought back from a nine-point deficit to take the lead with 23 seconds left ... only to see Detroit score the game’s final six points and hand the Jazz a 92-87 defeat in Utah’s season opener.
The Pistons improved to 2-0, with wins over Atlanta and now Utah to start the season.
Derrick Favors scored a game-high 26 points for the Jazz. Alec Burks came off the bench to score 18 points, including 12 in the second half, while Gordon Hayward (13 points) and Rodney Hood (12 points) were the only other Jazz players in double figures.
Rudy Gobert grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 19 points. Andre Drummond double-doubled with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris had 16 points and 14 points, respectively.
Favors was Utah’s only consistent source of offense. After struggling for much of the preseason, he scored 15 points (on 7-for-8 shooting) in the first half alone. Favors flashed a solid mid-range game and mixed in some turnaround jumpers and (of course) a few dunks.
The Jazz had a chance to win in the final minutes but came up short. Down 86-80 with just under three minutes left, Utah went on a 7-0 run—on a free throw by Hayward, two jumpers by Burks, and a driving layup by Hayward (over the outstretched arms of Drummond)—to take an 87-86 lead with 23 seconds left.
Jackson, though, drove in for a quick layup, seemingly catching the Jazz by surprise. Burks missed a mid-range jumper and then Caldwell-Pope hit two free throws before blocking Hood’s game-tying 3-point attempt (there was some contact on Hood’s arm, but no foul was called). Two more free throws by Jackson sealed the victory for Detroit.
The Jazz went only 2-for-12 from 3-point range, with the only makes coming from Raul Neto. Hood went 0-for-7 from deep, while Hayward went 0-for-2. Detroit, on the other hand, went 7-for-19 on 3-pointers.
Coach’s Quote of the Night
“We were wide open. Rodney’s was contested, obviously—that was a tough one. Alec had a great look. I thought we got good looks the whole way down the stretch. We got shots, and we made some of them and missed a couple at the end. It was just that kind of game—a one- or two-possession game. There’s gonna be a lot of them like that. We know that. I thought we made enough plays to win. They just made one or two more.”
—Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Just like in the preseason finale, Neto got the start at point guard. He threw an alley-oop to Gobert, drilled two 3-pointers, and played 26 minutes without committing a turnover. He also had an injury scare when he fell awkwardly and bent backward on his left knee late in the second quarter. He walked to the locker room on his own power, though, and was back out there to start the second half.
Trey Lyles came on late in the first quarter and didn’t score in eight minutes, but he did have a smooth drive and dish to Favors, who threw down an uncontested dunk.
Trevor Booker was suspended for the game (for taking a swing at the Lakers’ Roy Hibbert during preseason play). He’ll be back for Friday’s game. ... Drummond, who shot 39 percent from the line last season, made his first six attempts tonight—and then missed three straight. ... Trey Burke was scoreless in 16 minutes off the bench.
The Jazz will stay on the road to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. MT.