Jazz Tighten Up On Defense To Win Fourth Straight

Jan 14, 2019, 10:08 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) prepares to jump for a layup against the Detroit Pistons duri...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) prepares to jump for a layup against the Detroit Pistons during the first half of the game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Provo on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
(Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz held off the Detroit Pistons with tight second half defense in a 100-94 victory for their fourth straight victory.

At the beginning of the game, the Jazz defense wasn’t its typical stingy self. Utah failed to force a single turnover by the Pistons in the opening quarter. In contrast, the Jazz committed six turnovers and gave away 11 points off the miscues in the first quarter, which helped Detroit take an early 31-27 lead after the opening 12 minutes.

The Pistons had built a 12-point lead in the second before the Jazz whittled it down to 59-53 at the break. But right before the halftime intermission, Joe Ingles suffered a mild ankle sprain and left for the locker room with a minute and a half remaining. Luckily, the Australian sharpshooter was fine and was able to start the second half.

Trailing by six to start the second half, Utah evaporated Detroit’s lead with a 9-3 run, led by Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz continued to dominate the third quarter by upping the defensive pressure, forcing the Pistons into five turnovers.

Utah took a 75-74 lead into the final period thanks to a 3-pointer by Kyle Korver with seven seconds remaining in the period. It was the Jazz’s only made 3-pointer in the period after missing their first nine triple attempts in the second half. But Detroit managed just 15 points in the period.

The Jazz continued to apply the clamps on defense in the fourth quarter. The Pistons threatened to overtake the Jazz late, but a clutch basket with some added theatrics by Joe Ingles helped keep Detroit at bay.  The Pistons were held to just 35 points in the second half.

By The Numbers

Mitchell continued his streak of strong play with 28 points in the game.

Gobert had a monstrous outing with 18 points and 25 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Snyder Proud Of Effort

“Real gusty performance by the team, all the way around,” said head coach Quin Snyder after the game. “Rudy was dominant on the glass, and I thought Donovan made great decisions late in the game.”

Next Up

The Jazz will make a one-game road trip to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday before coming home for a four-game homestand starting on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.


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