NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 17th (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (13-27) at Detroit Pistons (16-22), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons have won two straight since an awful losing streak and they'll try to keep that momentum going Friday night when they host the Utah Jazz at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons broke a six-game losing streak last Friday with a 10-point road win in Philadelphia, then extended their winning ways with a two-point victory at home on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.
The long layoff has given Detroit plenty of time to work out some lingering problems, and to get some players, namely reserve shooting guard Rodney Stuckey, healthy.
"I feel a little bit better," head coach Mo Cheeks said after practice on Thursday. "We got a lot accomplished out of these days, some things we needed to work on."
Josh Smith made the go-ahead layup with 1.2 seconds left to seal the victory for the Pistons against the Suns.
It was an up and down 30 seconds of emotions for Smith. He nailed a trey with 26.8 seconds left to break a tie, but on the next possession he fouled Gerald Green on a 3-point attempt, with Green connecting on all three from the stripe with 4.3 seconds to go.
Smith got all the way to the rim for the game-winning bucket.
"The last time I had the opportunity in New York, I settled for a jump shot. I wanted to be aggressive. I learned from that play that I made. I wanted to put the onus on the officials and I was able to get a good look at it," Smith said.
Smith finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Greg Monroe totaled 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons. Andre Drummond added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Will Bynum chipped in 16 points. Brandon Jennings had 18 assists.
The Jazz head into Friday's contest alternating wins and losses over their last six. Most recently, Utah fell to the San Antonio Spurs, 109-105, in San Antonio on Wednesday, which started a three-game road trip.
Utah fought against the Spurs, but came up a little short late. Trey Burke scored 11 of his 17 points for the Jazz in the fourth quarter -- all in a row during their 17-5 run to make things close.
San Antonio made its free throws late to preserve the victory.
Enes Kanter had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead Utah, Alec Burks scored 20 and Derrick Favors added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Jazz will visit Minnesota Saturday to complete the road swing, then play four straight in Salt Lake City.
Utah has owned this series with Detroit in recent history, winning 16 of the last 18 meetings between the two teams. The Jazz have won six of their last seven in Detroit.
01/17 10:27:34 ET