The Pistons haven't won in Utah since December 21, 2003 and fans haven't been rewarded with some free curly fries since the same season (assuming the promotion existed then). Both droughts were on the cusp of ending Monday night, but--as the Pistons have been so good at doing all year--they came up short late.
The main reason the Pistons were in it until the end was mostly a result of added effort, Tayshaun Prince (26 points on 11-19 shooting) and Tracy McGrady. McGrady, who started at point guard again in place of the belly achin' Rodney Stuckey, was just one rebound shy of bringing home the curly fries (11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds). However, the Pistons shot just 30% in the 4th quarter and McGrady--who was so good up to the end--took an undisciplined, forced three-pointer with six seconds left and the Pistons down three.
Pistons should have only been down two, though, due to the referees failing to review a "three" made by Raja Bell with 51 seconds left in the game, which put the Jazz up 98-95. As said in the game thread, refs have no problem wasting several minutes looking at the replay televisions in other instances--sometimes for meaningless reviews, too. The refs refused to stop play to review this one because they said they were sure they got it right. Fox Sports Detroit replays and the Pistons' bench suggested otherwise. I guess giving the Jazz a last ditched effort to cover the spread was more important to the zebras. Had the play been reviewed and correctly called, T-Mac probably would've been able to run the offense the right way--as he had done all game--rather than chucking up a desperation three. Then again, if John Koostis would have had Ben Gordon (14 points and 3-6 from downtown) in the game, maybe T-Mac could have assisted a three instead of forcing one.
Little more belated tid bits after the jump:
- No Ben Wallace late in the game, either. Here's a good post by Patrick Hayes at PistonPowered.
- Rip received equal minutes to Gordon (24) and had 15 points on 6-13 shooting (0-2 from downtown). Rip was in the game during the final minutes.
- Stuckey only played 14 minutes and was 0-3 shooting with 3 assists (0 turnovers).
- Daye took a step back with his 2-8 shooting performance in 17 minutes after shooting 9-15 in his last two games.
- Pistons outrebounded the Jazz 39-35. They are 5-8 when outrebounding their opponents.
- The Eastern Conference is in such a sad state, the Pistons are still only 3.5 games out of the 8th playoff spot.
- Box Score
Roll Call Trout Jefferson, Kriz, The Boourns, don'tworryaboutit, bearded thundar, dandresden, Mike Payne, kenshi, curlyfries, Toledo Joe, bugman222, -PS-, TripOG, Laughton, madpoopz, Roll The Dyess, MrHappyMushroom, aussiepiston, JohnAbruzzi, gordbrown, tads, Packey, alaskanpistonsfan, RRR, defense_first, heWizard, brgulker, JumpingBlob
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Name # of Posts dandresden 86 Kriz 41 kenshi 34 -PS- 32 bugman222 27 The Boourns 24 madpoopz 19 Laughton 19 Trout Jefferson 14 bearded thundar 9 Toledo Joe 8 Packey 5 MrHappyMushroom 4 JohnAbruzzi 3 aussiepiston 3 Mike Payne 3 RRR 2 defense_first 2 heWizard 2 alaskanpistonsfan 2 tads 2 curlyfries 2 TripOG 2 gordbrown 2 brgulker 1 JumpingBlob 1 Roll The Dyess 1 don'tworryaboutit 1