The Detroit Pistons have seen their playoffs hopes quickly fade during one of their longest losing streaks of the season.
With time running out, the Pistons will try to avoid a season high-tying sixth consecutive defeat and their 14th in a row on the road by also ending a lengthy skid at the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Despite losing 10 of 13, Detroit was just three games back of eighth-place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference on March 11. By dropping five more games, the Pistons (25-44) have fallen 6 1/2 behind the Hawks with just 13 games remaining.
The past three of their losses have come during a four-game Western trip, and those have added to Detroit’s current 13-game skid away from home, its longest since a franchise-worst 19-game run in 1980-81.
The Pistons rallied from a double-digit deficit in the first quarter of Saturday’s 112-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers but couldn’t pull off another comeback after being outscored 24-15 in the third quarter.
Jonas Jerebko was a bright spot for Detroit with a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
"We had very good ball movement in the first half. To me, we played no-agenda basketball. Some guys off the bench came in and really contributed," coach John Loyer said. "And then to start that third quarter, we were just kind of like stuck in mud. The ball didn’t go side to side. Four out of five guys didn’t touch it."
The Pistons dropped a season-worst six in a row Dec. 27-Jan. 8 and will try to avoid matching that skid by registering only their second win in the last 17 matchups against Utah (23-47). Detroit has lost four straight to the Jazz and 10 consecutive games in Salt Lake City after a 103-90 loss last season.
The Pistons fell 110-89 at home Jan. 17 in the only other matchup with the Jazz this season. Former University of Michigan star Trey Burke led Utah with 20 points and 12 assists.
The point guard hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds to go Saturday as the Jazz snapped a six-game skid with an 89-88 win over Orlando.
"After putting ourselves into position, I thought the guys did a good job to close it out. They played pretty smart," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "Gordon (Heyward) made a great pass to Trey in the corner, and he made the shot. It’s great to see the young guys show a lot of character. We could have fell apart there."
With 17 points, Burke was also one of six players in double figures during the end to a three-game home losing streak. Richard Jefferson scored a team-best 21 in the Jazz’s second win in its last 13 contests.
Utah’s most recent loss to Detroit came on Feb. 26, 2011, and its last home defeat in the series was on Nov. 6, 2002.