Gordon Hayward leads way as Jazz rally past Pistons
The Utah Jazz always seem to make life difficult for the Detroit Pistons.
In the 10 years since Detroit’s 2004 championship, the Jazz have gone 17-3 against the Pistons, including a 97-96 victory Sunday at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
"The way we won this game was the significant thing," said Utah coach Quin Snyder, a newcomer to the rivalry. "We played very well early, then we had a tough stretch, but we were able to hang in there and kind of grind away at it."
Gordon Hayward, who had 32 points when the teams last met in March — a rare Detroit win — took a little while to get going this time, but when he did, it changed the game.
After only scoring six points in the game’s first 43 minutes, he had 11 in the final five, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 4:01 to play and a go-ahead 3 two minutes later.
"It shows a lot that he can have an average game for three quarters and then show up when it counts," Snyder said. "That’s one of the strengths of this team."
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy thought his team gave Hayward too much help.
"He made some tough shots, but a couple times, we broke down and didn’t do what we were supposed to do," he said. "You can’t win like that."
Hayward’s second 3-pointer gave the Jazz a 96-94 lead with 2 minutes left. After Brandon Jennings missed a 3-pointer for Detroit, Hayward split a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game.
After the teams traded misses, Greg Monroe’s layup pulled Detroit to 97-96, and Hayward missed a chance to clinch it from behind the arc with 4.6 seconds to go.
Jennings, who had 23 points, got off an open floater from the free-throw line, but the ball banked harmlessly off the left side of the rim.
"When he gets it going, there’s not a lot you can do," Snyder said. "We just took it as a challenge to guard him at the end of the game."
Derrick Favors finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Utah, while Enes Kanter had 14 points and 11 boards.
Monroe had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, and Andre Drummond added 11 points and 18 boards.
The Pistons built a double-digit lead early in the third thanks to 14 points from Jennings. But the Jazz cut into the deficit after he went to the bench, and trailed 79-77 early in the fourth.
Jazz: Rodney Hood missed the game with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. . Alec Burks finished with 14 points. He has scored in double figures in all seven games this year, and in 35 of his last 36 dating back to last season.
Pistons: Detroit wore sleeved jerseys for what is believed to be the first time in franchise history. Continuing a tradition begun last season, the Pistons wore their dark blue "Motor City" uniforms for the Sunday game, but they now include the short sleeves that have become more popular in recent years.
PISTONS GOING ON THE ROAD
After playing four straight games at home, the Pistons now go on one of their toughest road trips of the season, facing the Bulls, Wizards, Thunder and Grizzlies in a six-day span.
"It would have been nice to start that trip off a three-game winning streak — that’s why this one hurts so much," Josh Smith said.
Trey Burke got a loud cheer during pregame introductions, matching the one given to Tim Hardaway Jr. when the Knicks visited the Palace on Wednesday night. Burke and Hardaway led Michigan to the NCAA championship game in 2013 before losing to Louisville.
"I’ve got a lot of fans out there," he said. "A lot of family was out there, too, which made it nice to get out with a win."