Most NBA coaches would be thrilled by their team scoring 247
points in two nights, especially in consecutive road victories.
Jerry Sloan, though, wasn’t impressed.
A night after putting up 132 points in a rout of Chicago,
Sloan’s Utah Jazz put on another offensive show, beating the
Detroit Pistons 115-104 on Wednesday.
But the coach wasn’t happy with the defense.
“I’m not focused on our scoring, I’m worried about our
defense,” Sloan said. “It’s a matter of concentration, and
there’s no excuse for losing focus like we did in the second half
Utah was never seriously threatened after outscoring the Pistons
35-14 in the second quarter, despite allowing 61 second-half
“I thought we played awfully well in the second quarter, but
they put us back on our heels in the second half,” Sloan said. “I
had to make some substitutions because we had people trying to get
cute instead of just winning the game.”
Deron Williams, who is 9-0 in his career against Detroit, led
seven Utah players in double figures with 18 points and 12
“I’ve never lost to them? I guess I’ll have to keep that
going,” Williams said. “We always play well in this building, and
I thought we played well tonight, but if you look at the boxscore,
they outscored us in every quarter but the second. Our defense
still isn’t where we need it to be.”
Former Pistons center Mehmet Okur finished with 18 points, and
Carlos Boozer had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Detroit also had seven players score at least 10 points, led by
Charlie Villanueva’s 19, but couldn’t avoid its seventh loss in
“It’s tough to take anything positive out of a game you lose,”
Villanueva said. “We just can’t dig ourselves into a hole like
The Pistons led 29-28 after the first quarter, but the Jazz
began the second with a 14-0 run and led 63-43 at the half. Utah
outshot Detroit 59 percent to 39 percent in the half, and had 20
assists against just four turnovers.
“The second quarter was great – that was a flawless quarter,”
Williams said. “We got a lot of stops, we shared the ball, and we
got out and ran in transition.”
Detroit narrowed the gap to 85-74 late in the third, but could
never string together enough stops to get Utah’s lead to single
“You go up 29-28 after the first quarter, and then they go on a
14-0 run, and within four or five minutes, you are working uphill
just to get close,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “We don’t
have a large margin for error right now, especially against an
Utah, which has beaten the Pistons 10 straight times, reached
triple digits on Kyle Korver’s 3-pointer with 8:18 to play. By the
time the Jazz finished off the victory, one of the smallest Palace
crowds in recent history had dwindled.
NOTES: Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey was cleared to resume
exercising, less than a week after collapsing on the Detroit bench
and being taken out of the arena on a stretcher. Stuckey was tested
by three cardiologists, who found no heart problems. He said before
the game that he hopes to play again this season. … Ben Wallace
missed his fourth straight game with a right knee strain. … The
Pistons announced an attendance of 16,908, but the actual crowd
appeared to be much smaller.