SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz -- what was left of them
anyway -- welcomed back their frustrated owner with quite a
With essentially nine players, the Jazz rallied with a dominant
second half and beat Detroit 92-78 Monday night -- holding the
Pistons to just 27 points in the second half and snapping their
six-game winning streak.
"We are a real inconsistent team and a performance like this
makes us happy," said Andrei Kirilenko, who had 22 points, 12
rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. "We need to continue to
do this kind of job."
Utah already had its three inactive spots filled and lost
another player when point guard Deron Williams didn't dress because
of an ear infection. Center Greg Ostertag lasted barely 2 minutes
before he had to leave with a sore knee and rookie C.J. Miles never
got in the game, leaving just nine members of the Jazz to
accomplish what only two other teams have done this season -- beat
"We've talked about it and talked about it and this second half
they seemed to have the idea that if we make a mistake then we pull
for each other and we play through it," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan
Utah owner Larry Miller returned to his courtside seat after
skipping eight home games because he was frustrated with his team's
"I came in prepared for the rest of the year to kind of not
have expectations of the outcome of the games -- just to go with
what happened," Miller said after the game. "The game itself,
especially the second half, was terrific."
Utah's Mehmet Okur finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds
against his former team, which was winding up a four-game road trip
and had played the night before in Los Angeles against the
Detroit shot only 9-for-32 from the field in the second half and
gave Utah two baskets on goaltending calls in the fourth quarter,
when the Jazz outscored the Pistons 29-12. Detroit also made just
eight of 15 free throws in the second half.
The Jazz outrebounded Detroit 55-27, pulling down 17 offensive
boards and frustrating the Pistons.
"We seemed to lose our energy," Pistons coach Flip Saunders
said. "They were more aggressive and the team that's more
aggressive is going to get the loose balls, get the calls and have
things fall their way."
"I'm sick of this ...," said Ben Wallace, who cursed twice in
postgame comments regarding the officiating.
Milt Palacio and Sloan also got technicals for the Jazz in the
game, which had 52 personal fouls -- 26 for each team.
After trailing 51-38 at halftime, Utah scored the first 10
points of the third quarter to get back within range, then took
over in the final period.
"It's great to win and I think we did a pretty good job,
especially in the second half," Kirilenko said. "We were being so
focused and we didn't let them score at all."
Kirilenko threw a pass nearly the length of the court to
Palacio, who missed on a layup attempt, but Okur was there for the
rebound. After missing on the putback, he grabbed his own offensive
rebound and his second layup rolled in to tie it at 70.
After a shot-clock violation and a timeout by Detroit, Matt
Harpring put Utah up with a jumper from the free-throw line.
Detroit tied it again, then Okur answered with a 3-pointer to
put Utah up 75-72. Jarron Collins drew an offensive foul on Antonio
McDyess. Kirilenko added a layup off an offensive rebound, Jarron
Collins hit a turnaround jumper and Okur added a free throw after
Ben Wallace's technical foul with 5:49 left. Kirilenko completed
the 10-0 run for the Jazz on a driving left-handed layup.
Kirilenko, who was limping earlier in the quarter, later tipped
a pass from Palacio up and over the rim to put Utah up 89-76 with
2:47 remaining. That just about sealed it and the Jazz got a
standing ovation from most of the 18,275 fans at the end.
Former Jazz guard Carlos Arroyo was booed when he entered
the game late in the first quarter. ... The Pistons made 14 of 15
free throws in the first half. ... Harpring, who was nursing a sore
knee, finished with 11 points.