Led by Marvin Williams, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans, Utah’s nonstarters dominated the second quarter and helped the Jazz build a 51-37 lead at halftime.
“They gave great energy — a boost right there,” Corbin said. “They pushed the ball down the floor and got some early opportunities.”
When he went back to his starters in the second half, however, Corbin watched the Pistons make the game uncomfortably close.
Detroit made 14 of its 23 shots in the third quarter, when it scored 33 points.
Utah’s stand-and-watch defense failed to force turnovers and, in the final four minutes, the Pistons converted eight straight possessions.
A 15-point lead suddenly turned into a tenuous 76-70 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought they made some shots and picked the pace up,” Corbin said. “We talked about making sure we close teams out. We said, ‘Hey guys, we have to get some stops.’ But they did a good job making shots.”
The Jazz never trailed in the fourth quarter, but it was still only 84-79 with 7:01 left before Utah finally pulled away.
Mo Williams followed baskets by Kanter and Evans with a 3-pointer and, defensively, the Jazz stopped Detroit on eight of 10 possessions during a game-deciding 16-6 run.
“I thought our execution was great down the stretch,” Mo Williams said. “... We ran our offense and went through progressions. We found the right man and that person made plays.”
Off the bench, Marvin Williams, Kanter, Hayward and Evans combined for 49 points on 19-for-29 shooting.
Evans scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out five assists in one of the best performances of his ever-improving career.« Previous Page Next Page »