Detroit Pistons vs Utah Jazz Recap

Detroit Pistons vs Utah Jazz Recap

by Alma Bean

Feature Image: Photo by Scott G Winterton of Deseret News.

The Utah Jazz (12-7) return home for one game to take on the Detroit Pistons (4-15) as Utah tries to avoid a two-game losing streak.

A Bogey Homecoming

Before tip-off, Utah fans had their eye on one player, Bojan Bogdanovic (23/5/3). After spending the last three years in Utah, Bogdanovic was traded to Detroit for Kelly Olynyk (8/3/6) and Saben Lee just before the preseason. This is the first time that these two teams have played each other since the trade. Once the game began, Detroit had full control of the game, going on a 14-5 run in the first four minutes of the game. Utah couldn’t even buy a basket till their secondary unit checked in. After a rough last outing, Malik Beasley (29/11/5) found ways to create offense after the starters struggled. Without Beasley, who shot 3/4 (75%) from three and 4/5 (80%) from the field totaling 11 points, Utah shot 6/17 (35.3%) for the quarter. Utah’s secondary unit provided an unexpected defensive presence as Walker Kessler (5 points, 7 rebounds) tied his NBA career high in blocks with four in the first quarter. Utah also got to see an unexpected lineup that had Kessler and Udoka Azubuike (1 rebound) in the frontcourt. This presence wasn’t enough to stop Detroit as they finished the quarter with a 30-25 lead.

(1) Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Walker Kessler: 4 minutes, 3 blocks 😳 #TakeNote” / Twitter

After allowing 30 points to the last ranked team in the eastern conference, you would expect a fire to start for Utah. Utah did shoot more efficiently in the second quarter, shooting 12/20 (60%) from the field and 4/7 (57.1%) from three. Unfortunately, their offensive proficiency didn’t translate to their defense. Detroit was able to shoot 15/25 (60%) and 3/6 (50%) from the perimeter. The biggest game changer for the first half is that Detroit managed to hold Utah’s leading scorer, Lauri Markkanen (13/8/2), to zero points in the first half. Detroit was led by rookie Jaden Ivey (16/5/6) with 12 points going into the half with a 66-54 lead.

(1) Utah Jazz on Twitter: “the drive ☑️ the dish ☑️ the dunk ☑️ #TakeNote” / Twitter

Take Note of the Bench

Detroit coach Dwane Casey must’ve said some encouraging words during the halftime break. His team shot 11/15 (73.3%) within the perimeter during the third quarter. Marvin Bagley III (19/6/2) was a big contributor to this offensive effectiveness as he went 5/5 (100%) for the quarter. Utah gained some momentum from Simone Fontecchio (10 points, 2 rebounds) shooting two big three-point shots that put Utah within four points of Detroit. Jordan Clarkson (24/3/2) tried to put Utah on his back having 22 points at the end of the third quarter. Clarkson even passed Bogdanovic for fifth all-time in three-point shots made in Utah Jazz history, but Detroit held the lead 98-90 at the end of the third.

Utah Jazz on Twitter: “honestly iconic” / Twitter

The fourth quarter felt like a fever dream. Former first-round pick Kevin Knox II (21 points, 3 rebounds) scored 12 points in the fourth off the bench. Shooting 3/4 (75%) from beyond the arc, he seemed to never have a defender on him when he shot from the corner. Neither team could score collectively as Utah shot 7/22 (31.8%) from the field. Even Detroit shot 2/13 (15.4%) within the perimeter. Detroit allowed the home crowd to gain a little bit of faith after a Clarkson layup that put Utah within three points of the lead. This game ultimately was decided by free throws and turnovers. Utah committed 15 turnovers and allowed Detroit to take 27 free throws with 12 coming in the fourth quarter. After dragging out the final two minutes with consistent free throws for Detroit, they earned their fifth win of the year defeating Utah 125-116. A loss outshines Career-highs for Kessler with five blocks and Collin Sexton (17 points, 12 assists) in assists while Clarkson moves up in Utah history.

(1) Utah Jazz on Twitter: “send good vibes 💆 #Pura3Pointer | @pura” / Twitter

What’s Next?

The Utah Jazz (12-8) goes on a quick two-game to start a back-to-back weekend as they take on the Golden State Warriors (9-10) on Friday night. Tip-off is at 8:00 PM MST on AT&T SportsNet.

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