Jefferson helps Jazz rally past Pistons 90-87
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — This time, the Utah Jazz put together a big rally and held on for the win.
Al Jefferson scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter, and the Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons 90-87 on Saturday.
A night after blowing a 15-point lead in a loss at Atlanta, Utah came back from a 15-point deficit to win.
"This is a huge victory for us after what happened," coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Detroit's Brandon Knight, guarded closely by DeMarre Carroll, missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds that would have tied the game after the Pistons trailed by 13 with 3:26 left.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank was that a foul wasn't called on Knight's last attempt, but didn't want to continue the conversation during his news conference.
"I'm not going to say anything about it," Frank said.
And Corbin wasn't going to debate whether his team got a break from the officials.
"They didn't call it," Corbin said.
The Jazz made their own breaks when Jefferson helped them outscore Detroit 25-11 in the third quarter, powering them to their first lead.
"In the third quarter, they hit us and we didn't fight back," Pistons forward Jason Maxiell said.
Frank agreed, saying the Jazz took advantage of being more physical.
"If you're not the instigator against them, you're going to have a hard time," he said. "You have to hit first."
Utah put together a 17-3 run after Austin Daye's 3-pointer with 8:38 left gave the Pistons the lead for the last time.
There was one comeback left, and it came up just short.
Detroit outscored the Jazz 12-1 and had a shot to send the game into overtime, but Knight was very short on a contested shot after Daye couldn't create his own opportunity.
"We made some mistakes at the end, but we just kept telling each other to finish this one," Utah's Randy Foye said.
The Jazz (20-19) avoided falling under .500 and into a last-place tie with Minnesota in the Northwest Division.