Jazz Struggle To Execute, Fall To Pistons For Second Straight Loss

Nov 23, 2022, 10:29 PM
Utah Jazz guard Malik Beasley (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz were sluggish in the first half and dug themselves too deep of a hole to climb out of in their 125-116 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The Jazz allowed Detroit to shoot 49 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the three-point line, and 92 percent from the free-throw line as the Pistons out-executed the team throughout the night, despite having played in Denver on Tuesday night.

Malik Beasley scored 29 points while former Jazzman Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 23.

Jazz Close Quarters Poorly In The Loss

Each quarter had a similar story throughout the game.

The Pistons would jump out to a hot start, the Jazz would trim their deficit to low single-digits before allowing Detroit to close the quarter strong.

The Jazz led 21-20 late in the first quarter but were outscored 9-4 over the final three minutes.

In the second quarter, the Jazz trimmed the Pistons lead to four, but lost the final 3:32 of the quarter 15-7.

The Jazz cut the Pistons lead to four with 1:48 left in the third quarter, but were outscored 4-0 to close the period.

Finally, the Jazz closed their deficit to three late in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons won theΒ  3:39 of the game 12-6.

Over the final 19 minutes of the four quarters, the Jazz were outscored 40-17 in a game they lost by nine.

“We had costly turnovers and some poor defense at the end of quarters,” Will Hardy said. “[We were] getting rejected in the pick and roll — we have to just stick with the game plan on both ends of the floor. Closing those quarters that way can be deflating, but the NBA is a game of runs and it always will be.”

One consistent problem for the Jazz over the last two games, and the final quarter in their win against the Portland Trail Blazers, has been the absence of Mike Conley who is out with a knee strain.

Without Conley on the floor, the Jazz have been unable to find a reliable offensive attack. Until he returns, they’ll have to find a way to execute down the stretch, or these poor closes to quarters may become a common occurrence.

Walker Kessler Gets A Bad Whistle

Jazz center Walker Kessler gets a bad whistle, and Wednesday night’s loss to the Pistons was the clearest example so far this season.

Kessler was whistled for five fouls, two of which came on the offensive end setting screens for his teammates that also result in turnovers.

Unfortunately, that’s the way of the world for NBA rookies.

“I told Walker from the beginning of the season, he’s not getting any calls this whole year so you got to fight through and continue to do what you’re doing,” Malik Beasley said.

“I don’t think he should change anything, he sets great screens. Sometimes they call it, sometimes they don’t. But as a rookie, they’re going to make those calls.”

To Kessler’s credit, it didn’t take him out of the game against Detroit. The rookie scored five points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked a career-high five shots in 21 minutes.

Furthermore, Kessler’s coach wants him to continue to play aggressively.

“Walker’s moving screens don’t concern me in the slightest,” Hardy said. “I think setting screens is very important and sometimes it’s just unfortunate the timing of those plays. But, it’s a little bit like holding in the NFL — it happens a lot — sometimes it’s called and sometimes it’s not. It’s just part of the game.”

Next Broadcast

The Utah Jazz now travel to face the Golden State Warriors on Friday at 8 pm MT in San Francisco. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

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