DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 5: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during the game against the Detroit Pistons on January 5, 2019 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

The Roundup—Mitchell, Jazz post come-from-behind win in Detroit

by matt payne

They may have taken the scenic route, but with a 110-105 come-from-behind victory over the Pistons in Detroit on Saturday night, the Jazz are now at .500 for the first time since they beat the Boston Celtics on November 17.

Getting there, though, wasn't easy.

The Jazz (20-20) fell behind by 18 points in the first quarter and didn't take their first lead until the 8:03 mark of the fourth before holding on for the victory.

"Persistance, that's all it is." Utah's Donovan Mitchell said after the game. "It takes guts to come back and win a game like this. Ricky, Kyle, Rudy, Fav—everybody was hitting big shots. This was a big win for us, especially coming on a back-to-back and starting off the way we did."

Mitchell led the way with 26 points, while Ricky Rubio finished with 18 points and Derrick Favors contributed across the board with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 28 minutes.

Joe Ingles (16 points) and Rudy Gobert (nine points, 11 rebounds) each battled foul trouble throughout the game.

Blake Griffin scored a team-high 34 points for the Pistons (17-20). Andre Drummond (15 points, 18 rebounds) and Reggie Bullock (19 points, 5-for-8 from three) also had big games in the loss.

Saturday's Best

Mitchell shook off a slow start (he shot just 1-for-4 in the first half) to score 24 of his 26 points after halftime. The second-year guard added five rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block in a team-high 38 minutes, and his 3-pointer with 1:50 left, which put the Jazz up by seven, was the biggest shot of the game. Mitchell has now scored 20+ points 20 times this season.

Key Stretches

After falling behind by 18 during a disastrous first quarter, the Jazz got it together with a 35-22 advantage in the second period. Rubio and Ingles combined for 18 second-quarter points and led the Jazz on a 19-4 run to cut Detroit's lead to three.

Detroit went on a 10-0 run to take an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Utah stayed with it before closing the quarter on a 8-2 run to pull back within two. Mitchell scored six of those points and then assisted on a bucket by Raul Neto.

A dunk by Gobert gave the Jazz their first lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and then a 10-0 run—which included threes by Ingles and Kyle Korver, plus a jumper by Rubio and dunk by Jae Crowder—gave Utah an 11-point lead with 3:51 left in the game.

Detroit didn't back down, pulling back within two with 40.9 seconds left. Mitchell, though, protected the lead with seven straight Jazz points in the final two minutes before Rubio went 4-for-4 from the line to seal Utah's improbable victory.

Significant Stats

25

The Jazz once again won the turnover battle, scoring 25 points off of Detroit's 18 turnovers. The Pistons scored 15 points off of Utah's 12 turnovers.

57.4

After shooting just 4-for-21 (19 percent) in the first quarter, the Jazz shot 57.4 percent the rest of the way. They outscored the Pistons 97-74 over the final three quarters.

4

The Pistons entered the night ranked first in the NBA in 3-pointers allowed (9.0) and 3-point percentage allowed (32.0), and Utah struggled from long distance, shooting only 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) for the game. The Jazz, though, got hot when it counted, shooting 4-for-7 from deep in the fourth quarter.

Coach's Quote of the Night

"Our defense allowed us to get back in the game. We had 22 deflections in the second half, which means we had great activity. On a back-to-back and not starting the game as precise as we need to be, being able to find that was really good."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Notable

Danté Exum rolled his ankle midway through the second quarter and did not return to the game. He finished with four points and five assists in eight minutes. ... Thabo Sefolosha injured his right hamstring late in the second quarter and did not return to the game. He finished with six points and two steals in nine minutes. ... Utah outscored Detroit 46-36 in the paint. ... Detroit rookie Bruce Brown finished with career highs in points (12) and assists (seven).

Up Next

The Jazz will travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 6pm MT.

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