Ben Wallace added 15 rebounds and six blocks to help Detroit
improve to 4-0 at home.
"When we are playing great team defense, it's easier for me to focus on rebounds and blocking shots,'' Wallace said. "We took away their first option on a lot of possessions and made them take shots they didn't want to take.''
The win gave Detroit a 2-0 sweep of the season series.
"It's always big when you can beat Utah twice in one year,'' said Pistons coach Rick Carlisle. "That doesn't happen very often.''
"They beat us and they didn't even break a sweat,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "They had control of everything almost all night long.''
Ostertag thought Wallace's defense and rebounding turned the game around.
"That's why he was the defensive player of the year,'' he said.
"When every shot goes up, you have to find him, so you can't worry
about getting the rebound. He's a good player, but he is a rebounding machine. They pay him to rebound and block shots, and that's what he does.''
Utah tied the game at 45 with an 8-0 run early in the third,
getting two baskets and an assist from Malone. But Detroit regained
control with its big run to finish the quarter.
Hamilton scored seven of the 21 points during the run, while Michael Curry and Billups added five each. The Jazz managed just one basket over the seven-minute stretch, missing eight of nine shots and turning the ball over five times.
"We knew they were playing their fourth game in five nights, so
we wanted to make solid defense and play with a lot of energy,''
Carlisle said. "They made a couple runs at us when we didn't do
that, but we picked it up at the end of the half.''
The run gave the Pistons a 71-52 lead at the end of the period,
and Utah was never able to get within single digits.
The Pistons led 43-37 after a sloppy first half, in which both
teams committed 14 turnovers. The biggest difference came from the
benches, as the Pistons reserves outscored Utah's 19-10. The teams
finished with 23 turnovers.
"We thought we were getting that problem fixed, but it came
back tonight,'' Carlisle said. "A lot of those are coming from
offensive fouls. They are calling them tight, and we have not done
a good job of adjusting.''
Matt Harpring, Utah's second-leading scorer as the sixth
man, replaced Kirilenko in the starting lineup. He scored eight
points. ... Detroit picked up two defensive 3-second technicals in
the first 2:06 of the third quarter. ... Kirilenko scored 14 points
in 37 minutes Thursday in Washington, but he was removed from the
lineup at game time. His status is unknown for Sunday's game in
Toronto. ... Malone and John Stockton entered the game with 6,161
more career points than the entire 14-man Detroit roster.