(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Pistons try to close out a four-game
homestand with a winning record when they entertain the Utah Jazz Sunday at
The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons lost the first game of the stay to Brooklyn, but have responded
with back-to-back 98-95 wins over New York and Milwaukee. In Friday’s triumph
versus the Bucks, the Pistons took a 51-44 lead into halftime and later
trailed by a 68-63 margin in the third quarter.
Detroit, though, took back the lead in the final 12 minutes and the Bucks got
no closer than 95-93. Detroit shot a season-high 49.3 percent and was hot
beyond the arc, making 47.8 percent from 3-point range (11-of-23).
All five starters and one bench player scored in double digits, as Kentavious
Caldwell-Pope led the bunch with 19 points and Brandon Jennings added 15
points. Josh Smith and reserve Caron Butler had 14 apiece, Andre Drummond
posted 11 points and 10 boards and Greg Monroe collected 10 points and seven
Caldwell-Pope was the surprise of the night for Detroit, which started the
season with three straight losses.
“He didn’t really get an opportunity last year to play and be able to get a
feel for the game,” said Smith of Caldwell-Pope. “This year, it all started
with Summer League this summer. He has more confidence knowing he can come in
and be affective. When he plays under control he’s a good two guard to watch
and his future’s very bright and his work ethic is strong.”
The Pistons will begin a four-game road trip Monday against Chicago, followed
by visits to Washington, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
Utah is set to begin a five-game trek Sunday against the Pistons and will also
make stops in Indiana, Atlanta, New York and Toronto.
One game after upsetting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on a last-
second shot by Gordon Hayward, the Jazz fell back into the loss column with
Friday’s 105-82 setback to the Dallas Mavericks.
Alec Burks led Utah with 14 points, Hayward added 12 after scoring 21 against
Cleveland and rookie Dante Exum ended with a career-best 11 points. The Jazz
hurt themselves with 23 turnovers, leading to 32 Dallas points. They had 15
turnovers versus the Cavs.
“I thought they had us discombobulated offensively,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder
said of the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki had a game-high 27 points for the Mavs.
Utah and Detroit split two meetings last season with each team winning on the
road. The Jazz have dominated the series of late as evidenced by a 15-2 record
in the last 17 encounters.
The Pistons are 4-10 in the previous 14 games at home versus the Jazz.
Utah is 53-33 all-time against Detroit with a 22-22 ledger on the road.