Chalk up another winless year in the Salt Lake City. After falling in overtime on Saturday night, the Pistons are now winless in Utah since 2002 and have not beat the Jazz, period, since March 2005. More importantly, the Pistons dropped their fourth straight of the 2009-2010 season to fall to 0-3 on the current west coast swing and 5-8 on the season. Things don't get any easier as they travel to play the first place Phoenix Suns, with tip off in less than 24 hours. Detroit is 0-4 this season in the second game of back-to-back's.
Aside from the demoralizing final result, this was probably the best game of the season. It was back-and-forth for the full 48 minutes of regulation and fans received a free five minutes of overtime basketball to boot. There were nearly 20 lead changes and over 10 different tie games.
Even though it was an entertaining game, that doesn't mean it was aesthetically pleasing. The Pistons turned the ball over 17 times and allowed Utah to get to the charity stripe 44 times, of which they made 33, serving as the difference maker in this one. Detroit made 21 of their 25 attempts.
Trailing by one in overtime with 15 seconds remaining, the Pistons had a chance to take the lead and possibly win it. Unfortunately, Will Bynum's one-on-one drive to the hoop resulted in the ball slipping from his hands and out of bounds. Utah, as they were all game, hit the free throws when they needed to put them up three with a little under 10 seconds to play.
As the Pistons did against the Mavericks when they needed a three to tie the game, they drew up a play for the efficient shooter, Ben Gordon. They had him inbounds the ball to Bynum and ran him off a Ben Wallace screen, only it didn't look well executed at all. Ben Gordon got the ball in his hands, but his man was on his tail the entire time. He was forced to put up a contested three with the time expiring. The shot sailed to the left of the rim, buzzer, and curtains.
Ben Gordon led the Pistons with 25 points on 10-20 shooting. Kirilenko and Boozer each had 22 points to lead the Jazz.
Reflections, and more, after the jump.
- Heading the ugly column, continues to be the shooting of Rodney Stuckey. He did score 18 points, but on just 7-18 shooting. He is now 16-51 in his last three games (31%) and his misses haven't been close. Despite his poor shooting, he somehow manages to salvage his stat lines. He led the team with five steals and a team-high six assists on Saturday night (opposite four turnovers). I think it's safe to say he's ready to get the heck away from this west coast road trip.
- Despite the big shots the Jazz were able to hit, the Pistons put up great effort on defense, I thought. The two things the Pistons could not contain were Utah's pick-and-rolls with Boozer and working the back door cuts with the ball in Boozer's hands in the post. Utah picked Detroit apart on those plays.
- Ben Wallace played 43 minutes, nearly logging a double-double. He had eight points and nine rebounds.
- Charlie Villanueva had an impressive game. He was very active on defense, finishing with three blocked shots. He fouled out in overtime, but his final line was respectable with 17 points, eight rebounds, and two steals.
- The Pistons did a great job clearing the glass. They outrebounded the Jazz 40-34 and had five guys with five or more rebounds.
- One of the Pistons lowlights of the season has been their free throw shooting. Tonight they were 21-25, great for 84%. They were shooting just 72% from the stripe coming into tonight. Ironically, and I might be nitpicking, but Will Bynum's missed free throw late in the overtime proved to be crucial. For starters, the Pistons would have been tied on the possession Bynum lost the ball out of bounds with 10 seconds. It would have also put the Pistons within two, as opposed to three, on the final possession allowing Detroit to go to their strength in the final nine seconds, rather than force up a three.
- Game highlights:
- Box Score
- SLC Dunk for the opposing view.