Utah Jazz stave off a late rally to beat the Detroit Pistons

Bojan Bogdanovic wasn’t interested in starting the wrong kind of streak.

The forward hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers with the Utah Jazz trying to fend off a surging Detroit Pistons team to get back into the win column Tuesday night. In a 117-105 victory, Bogdanovic finished with 18 points to help the Jazz bounce back from Sunday’s streak-snapping defeat in Denver.

“I think my confidence is a little bit better right now,” Bogdanovic said after the win. “I’ve got more shots, more 3s the last couple of games. So there’s no big change for me. I just have to be ready and shoot it no matter what percentage I’m shooting.”

Donovan Mitchell scored a team-high 32 points and grabbed six rebounds in the win. Point guard Mike Conley had 20 points, five assists and four boards. And Royce O’Neale scored 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

“A lot of this is mental,” Mitchell said after the Jazz had held off Detroit’s rally. “We’ve been here before. We knew they were going to play hard.  We continued to fight and made some big plays. I’m proud of our effort.”

The Jazz jumped out to a big lead in front of the 3,902 fans at Vivint Arena. Conley scored nine points in the first quarter as the Jazz built up an early 33-22 lead.

By halftime, the Jazz were up 69-46 thanks to some hot shooting. The Jazz shot 54 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers in the opening half.

Detroit used a 10-1 run in the third quarter to cut the lead inside 20 before the Jazz responded with an 8-0 burst of their own. But even that wouldn’t put an end to the Pistons’ fight on Tuesday.

Detroit got to within 9 on a Josh Jackson 3-pointer. When Jerami Grant dunked for 2 of his team-high 27 points, the lead was 108-101 with 3:14 to go. With just over 2 minutes to play, Grant converted a pair of free throws to cut the lead down to 4.

Conley missed a step-back jumper on the next possession, giving Detroit a chance to make it a one-possession game. But after Delon Wright’s 3-point attempt went begging, Bogdanovic and the Jazz took over and closed out the Pistons for good.

Bogdanovic answered with a transition 3. A moment later, Conley set him up again for a triple in the corner to give the Jazz their 16th win of the season.

“We got going again, we got running again,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said of the game’s final push. “Sometimes when you build a big lead like that, the narrative becomes what happened because you didn’t win by 30. These are NBA teams.”

Bogdanovic has been frustrated with his overall performance this season, as he’s worked his way back from wrist surgery. But the Croatian sharpshooter has scored 32, 29 and 18 points in his last three games respectively. Even if Bogdanovic wasn’t 50 percent from 3-point territory in the stretch (which he is), his teammates would have wanted the ball in his hands late in a close game.

“That’s Bojan,” Donovan Mitchell said. “I tell everybody, Bojan can go 0-for-100 but when the game is on the line he’s making the shot.”

 

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Tuesday’s Best

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The Jazz are headed east for a three-game swing. First up: a rematch with Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Tipoff is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

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