March 8, 2020 / 2:54 AM / 24 days ago

Jazz down Pistons for 5th straight win

EditorsNote: Added context to when Casey talked about defense in Graf 7; corrected to “defense” in Graf 8; other minor edits

Mar 7, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Basketballs sit on the seat prior to the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Bojan Bogdanovic fired in 32 points and the visiting Utah Jazz stretched their winning streak to five games by topping the Detroit Pistons 111-105 on Saturday.

The Jazz, who were closing out a four-game road trip, have won the last eight meetings between the clubs. They were playing the second end of a back-to-back after winning in Boston on Friday.

Donovan Mitchell supplied 25 points, Jordan Clarkson contributed 14 points off the bench, and Mike Conley added 12.

Christian Wood led the Pistons with a career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds. Langston Galloway and Jordan McRae had 14 points apiece off the bench.

Detroit has lost 10 of its last 11 games.

Utah jumped to a 55-39 halftime lead. Bogdanovic was the main offensive weapon, tallying 16 points, while Mitchell tossed in a dozen more. Wood led Detroit with 10 points.

Earlier this week, Pistons coach Dwane Casey said the team’s defense against Oklahoma City in a 114-107 loss on Wednesday might have been the worst he’s seen since taking over as head coach prior to last season. The Pistons gave up 69 first-half points on 69-percent shooting from the field that night.

Their defense wasn’t much better in the first half on Saturday. They guarded the 3-point line well, but the Jazz converted 18 of 23 field-goal tries inside the arc and led by as many as 22 points.

Detroit hung around during the third quarter, however. John Henson tossed in a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 62-49 with 6:50 to play in the quarter, but Bogdanovic answered with one of his own. A three-point play from Wood cut Utah’s lead to 10 with 4:18 left in the quarter.

Sekou Doumbouya’s fastbreak layup a minute later made it 68-60. Clarkson soon scored twice in the lane, but with Wood scoring 13 points in the quarter, the Jazz lead was down to 79-73 entering the fourth.

The Pistons then scored the first six points of the fourth, including four by Wood, to tie it at 79-all.

But Conley slowed Detroit’s momentum with a steal and a layup, which kicked off a 7-0 Utah run. Bogdanovic’s three-point play with 7:05 left restored Utah’s double-digit advantage at 93-81.

The Pistons rallied in the late going and pulled within three on McRae’s layup with 42 seconds left. Rudy Gobert (10 points, 12 rebounds) then made two free throws with 18.5 seconds left, and Mitchell added four more in the closing seconds.

—Field Level Media

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