Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/21

Game 1: Sunday, December 21st
Game 2: Monday, March 1st

Pistons 86

(38-25, 17-15 away)

Jazz 94


Coverage: KJZZ

7:00 PM ET, March 1, 2004

EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

1 2 3 4 T
DET 20 27 19 2086
UTAH 25 17 21 3194

Top Performers

Detroit: R. Wallace 27 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

Utah: G. Giricek 24 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Jazz notch fourth straight win

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz haven't boasted outside shooting like Gordan Giricek's since Jeff Hornacek had his number retired here.

In 32 minutes of reserve play, Giricek made a variety of long-range jumpers and driving floaters to score 24 points and lead Utah past the Detroit Pistons 94-86 Monday night.

"I felt strong and I felt good shooting tonight. I feel like I belong," Giricek said after the Jazz secured their fourth straight win.

The 6-foot-6 Croatian had his best game since coming to the Jazz in a trade from Orlando for DeShawn Stevenson six games ago. Giricek made 10 of 17 shots, including all four of his 3-point attempts.

Andrei Kirilenko, who has been scoring more than 23 points a game since the All-Star break, struggled offensively, but knew what he needed to do: Get it to the man making the shots.

"I was frustrated offensively," said Kirilenko, who still managed 11 points, eight rebounds, six blocks and four steals. "So I try to find somebody who feels hot. Giricek felt very good and was shooting great, so I just try to screen for him and get him some open shots."

When Giricek wasn't scoring, Aleksandar Pavlovic, another shooter from Eastern Europe, was coming off screens and hitting shots, ending up with 15 points.

Rasheed Wallace scored 27 points in his best outing since arriving in Detroit from Portland. Chauncey Billups had 17, but the Pistons came away empty time after time late in the game as the Jazz snapped Detroit's four-game winning streak.

"They made shots and we didn't. That was it," said Richard Hamilton, who had 10 points before fouling out.

Carlos Arroyo had 13 points and eight assists as the Jazz moved one game above .500 for the first time since losing a pair to San Antonio a month ago.

"I thought tonight was a terrific game for us ... we got good shots almost every possession," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.

Detroit led 82-80 when Kirilenko returned to the court after sitting with five fouls and immediately sparked the Jazz with a tip-in. Giricek hit a 3-pointer and a layup down the stretch and Kirilenko capped the 14-4 game-ending run with a drive to beat the shot clock in the final minute.

"They made us play defense until they got a good open shot," Tayshaun Prince said.

Kirilenko also seemed to be everywhere on the defensive end as the Pistons shot 5-for-18 in the fourth quarter.

"Andrei was terrific down the stretch. I thought our guys did a terrific job helping each other," Sloan said.

Greg Ostertag, who shoots less than 60 percent from the line, made all eight of his free throws in the rugged game featuring lots of holding and pushing. Both teams disrupted the offensive flow and spent nearly every dead ball talking to the referees.

"We got away from executing and, you know, too many unforced turnovers and we just threw this one away. We didn't get stops down the stretch," Ben Wallace said.

Neither team led by more than eight points the entire game. The Jazz didn't pull ahead in the second half until Jarron Collins muscled in a shot with 6:12 to play.

Detroit faltered in the second of its five-game road trip, its longest stretch away from home this season. The Pistons had a four-game winning string broken against the Jazz, including a 96-75 blowout on Dec. 21.< ^Notes: Ben Wallace and Kirilenko, the teams' starting power forwards, were selected the Eastern and Western Conference players of the week, respectively, before the game. ... Detroit dropped to 12-7 in second games of back-to-back sets. ... Ben Wallace had only nine points, the first time he failed to score in double figures in the last 13 games. ... The Jazz, who had 29 fouls, lead the league in fouls per game and have averaged 30 fouls the last five games. ... Utah had lost four of five at home after starting 19-6.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 86 94
FGM-FGA 26-70 (.371) 34-76 (.447)
3PM-3PA 3-15 (.200) 6-11 (.545)
FTM-FTA 31-38 (.816) 20-22 (.909)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-40 10-39
Assists 13 22
Turnovers 15 15
Steals 7 10
Blocks 10 8
Fast Break Points 1 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 29 (0/0)

Top Performers

Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 27
Reb: 6
Ast: 0
Stl: 1
Blk: 4
Gordan Giricek Giricek
Points: 24
Reb: 1
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 0