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Instant analysis: Utah Jazz withstand second-half rally, beat Detroit Pistons for second straight win

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, left, guard Josh Jackson (20) watch as Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell makes a layup during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz earned a second straight win, holding on to beat Detroit, 96-86, on Sunday as the Pistons staged a second-half comeback after trailing by as many as 20 points in the first half.

High Notes

  • Donovan Mitchell’s scoring, specifically through the first half was well balanced and patient. Even when his shot wasn’t falling as frequently in the second half, he was still getting mostly good looks and wasn’t forcing too much.
  • Rudy Gobert had some trouble offensively against the Pistons, who were determined to limit him on that end, but it didn’t stop him from being effective. He only scored only four points but racked up 20 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
  • Speaking of rebounding, the Jazz out-rebounded the Pistons 71-45 and Derrick Favors’ rebounding in the final minutes of the fourth quarter was a huge part of the Jazz’s ability to hang on and get a win. Sometimes, even if a team is struggling, being able to do one small thing really well can be the difference.

“To come back and not have a good shooting night and win with defense was something that I don’t think we’ve done that this year to that extent. So, in a low-scoring game it’s good to see Rudy and Fave control the boards like they did.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

  • Detroit was without one of their best players in Derrick Rose, they were down 20 points in the first half and were still fighting to make the game competitive down to the last couple minutes, causing problems for the Jazz trying to inbound the ball, forcing Utah to call multiple timeouts.

Low Notes

  • Bojan Bogdanovic continues to have a streaky go of it through this season. One game he’ll look like he’s back to normal and then he’ll be completely cold the next. After a good shooting night against the Bucks on Friday, Bogdanovic went 0-of-5 from 3 against the Pistons.
  • After shooting 40% from deep in the first half the Jazz went 0-of-7 from 3-point range in the third quarter. But it wasn’t just the Jazz’s shooting that led to the Pistons digging into the one-time 20-point Utah lead, the Jazz just fell apart on the defensive end in the third quarter.
  • Gobert and Mitchell each committed four turnovers a piece against the Pistons and this time it was Gobert’s turnovers that were particularly egregious, as they came on just lazy control near the basket or bad passing.

Flat Notes

  • The Jazz’s response in the third quarter was so poor on both ends of the floor that in between the third and fourth quarter Quin Snyder threw his clipboard into the player huddle in frustration. It was a pretty good representation of what Snyder, the players, and probably many that were watching were feeling.

“They made the adjustment at halftime to start switching pretty much all the pick-and-rolls, which for us ends up being get a little bit sticky with the ball and and guys get a little bit too much one-on-one going. In the first half they weren’t playing that way, we were able to get into the paint and make plays for each other and kind of get the ball spinning around the perimeter. But they made the adjustment and it’s an adjustment that a lot of teams have have made against us.” — Mike Conley

  • Georges Niang is now just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc on the season. There’s probably an argument to be made about him going from playing about 14 minutes per game last year to around eight minutes a game this year, but his minutes are largely predicated on his ability to shoot the three ball, which has not been going well.