GORDON Hayward and Rudy Gobert started strong on offense as the Utah Jazz defense shackled Detroit early and weathered a late rally to defeat the Pistons, 97-83, at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
Hayward and Gobert scored 10 points each in the opening quarter as the Jazz stormed to a 26-11 start. Utah closed the first half strong and limited Detroit to just 35 markers while scoring 54 before the break.
The Jazz led by as much as 23 early in the third and rested their starters in anticipation of their match versus the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. But the Pistons rallied back to cut the gap to nine after a 12-5 start in the fourth. Utah turned to their stars and their defense in holding Detroit to five points for the final four minutes to hold on to the win.
Hayward had 25 points to lead the Jazz (43-25), while George Hill added 17 markers. Gobert, Joe Johnson and Joe Ingles each scored 12.
Ish Smith led the Pistons (33-35) with 16 points off the bench. Tobias Harris and Aron Baynes chipped in 12 markers apiece.