Another trip to Utah, another loss for the Pistons.
That Utah entered Monday's game with a four-game losing streak mattered very little; you just knew the Jazz would have their way. And they did, pulling away in the second quarter and rarely looking back before winning, 103-90.
Detroit's night in a nutshell:
The Pistons have now lost six in a row (not to mention their starting shooting guard), with Monday's loss completing a full decade of futility in Salt Lake City.
Sadly, that's not an exaggeration. The Pistons have lost 10 straight in Utah, with their last win coming all the way back on Nov. 6, 2002. How long ago was that? Consider the following:
John Stockton was still in uniform, although Karl Malone was a rare scratch due to a head cold. In Malone's absence, the Jazz started a still closeted John Amaechi. Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace led the Pistons with 28 points and 15 rebounds, respectively. Future Jazz big man Mehmet Okur was still with the Pistons, while future Pistons point guard Carlos Arroyo was still on the Jazz. Michael Curry started for the Pistons, with rookie Tayshaun Prince adding just one minute off the bench.
The Pistons won 80-78 following a crucial three-pointer from Jon Barry with 22.3 seconds left in the game. The Jazz had a chance at the buzzer, but Mark Jackson -- yes, that Mark Jackson -- missed a shot at the buzzer. From the AP:
Barry's shot broke a 75-all tie and reclaimed the lead for the Pistons after they squandered it in a dismal fourth quarter. It was only the second field goal of the night for Barry, who was 2-for-5.
"I just kind of made up my mind. If I was open, I was going to take it,'' he said. "The more I miss, the better the chance that the next one is going in.''
Richard Hamilton had 28 points and Clifford Robinson scored a season-high 16 for the Pistons, who won when Mark Jackson's tying attempt from the top of the key just before the buzzer was way off.
"We didn't go away,'' said Barry, whose only two field goals of the night were 3-pointers. "They had us down by four and we were struggling. We were able to maintain our composure, get the stops that we needed and make some big shots.''
What's that? Did someone say Mr. Big Shot? Well, no ... since Chauncey Billups was years away from earning that moniker, or the type of consistency that eventually made him an All-Star. He finished this game with five points and two assists in 25 minutes.
Apropos of nothing, here are random facts about 2002:
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was the highest grossing film.
- The very first HD cable channel, Discovery HD Theater, was introduced.
- Future Pistons Juan Dixon and Chris Wilcox led Maryland to an NCAA championship.
- Yao Ming was still a year away from being an NBA rookie.
- The iPod was just one year old, and Apple stock ($437.87 at Monday's bell) cost just $7.92 per share.
- Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City were released.
- The Eminem Show and Nellyville were the top two selling albums.
And in other news, I'm old. Now your thoughts.