9:00 PM ET, January 10, 2009
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Detroit can't seem to beat Utah, especially with former Piston Mehmet Okur leading the Jazz.
• Utah prevails once again over Detroit as the Jazz win for their eighth consecutive time against the Pistons.
• Mehmet Okur went 8-for-9 from the field and scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter.
• Utah recorded 29 assists on 38 made field goals.
• Detroit has lost two of its last three games.
-- ESPN research
Okur had 22 points and seven rebounds against his former team and the Jazz beat the Pistons for the eighth straight time, 99-82 on Saturday night.
"We play good against them here and also up there," said Okur, who was 8-for-9 from the field. "Hopefully, we're going to keep doing what we're doing."
Okur was 3-for-3 from 3-point range and also made all three of his foul shots against the Pistons, who let him go to Utah as a free agent in 2004.
Paul Millsap finished with nine points and seven rebounds, ending his streak of 19 straight double-doubles as he rested once Utah put away Detroit with a 22-3 run over the end of the third period and beginning of the fourth.
The Jazz sacrificed his streak to give Millsap some rest in the fourth quarter on Saturday after learning that Carlos Boozer was out at least another four weeks after having surgery on his left knee.
Millsap couldn't quite keep a straight face when tried to say he should have had a chance to continue the streak, breaking into a grin when he was asked about resting all of the fourth quarter
"Hopefully I'll get another one started," Millsap said. "I don't think about it too much. I just think of it as me playing [hard) ]and things like that come with it."
The Pistons were coming off a 93-90 win at Denver on Friday night and never held a lead on Saturday, which ended Detroit's four-game road trip. The Pistons kept it close until late in the third quarter, then unraveled.
"No excuses," Iverson said. "It had nothing to do with being the last game of the trip, dead legs, anything. They were just better than us and they whooped us tonight."
Jason Maxiell was the only other Detroit player to score in double figures with 11 points -- and five of those came in the fourth quarter as the reserves for both teams ran out the clock with the game already decided.
The Jazz had 29 assists to Detroit's 15.
"I thought we were alive," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We just had a lot of people playing pretty well. I like the way our team has been trying to play here lately -- trying to pass the ball, trying to execute our offense."
The game turned into a rout quickly at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth.
Rasheed Wallace, back after missing four straight with a sore right foot, banked in a shot and Tayshaun Prince followed with a 3-pointer to get Detroit within 70-64 late in the third quarter, but the Jazz closed the period by scoring the next nine points. Millsap started it with a dunk, Brewer made a jumper and Kirilenko made a free throw with 1:06 left after drawing Wallace's fourth foul.
Iverson started the third with a jumper for the Pistons, but Harpring scored the next six points, tipping in a rebound and then driving for a left-handed layup that put Utah up 85-66 and prompted a timeout by the Pistons with 9:59 left to play.
It did little to slow down the Jazz. After Iverson went 1-for-2 from the line, Ronnie Price hit a 3-pointer and had an assist to Kosta Koufos for a dunk on the next possession. Brevin Knight started the play with a pass to Kirilenko, who bounced the ball to Price at the baseline and Price found Koufos for the two-handed dunk on the backpedaling Pistons.
"I thought our guys did a terrific job passing the basketball," Sloan said. "We really got some easy baskets."
Detroit G Richard Hamilton (groin) missed his eight straight game. ... Okur didn't attempt a field goal in the second half after drawing his third foul early. ... Millsap had a double-double in every game he played since Nov. 22. ... Okur was 8-for-9 in the first half and added two free throws early in the third quarter before having to sit after his fourth foul with 6:32 left in the period. ... Brewer scored six straight at the end of the second period to give the Jazz a 57-47 halftime lead. ... The Pistons' last win over the Jazz was 62-60 on March 13, 2005, in Detroit.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||28-78 (.359)||38-71 (.535)|
|3PM-3PA||2-11 (.182)||5-11 (.455)|
|FTM-FTA||24-30 (.800)||18-24 (.750)|
|Fast Break Points||7||8|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||28 (0/0)|