SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Reggie Jackson scored 29 points and the Detroit Pistons never trailed in a 95-92 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Detroit jumped out to a 20-10 lead in the first quarter and held on the rest of the way. The Pistons had an answer every time Utah pulled close — usually in the form of a basket by Jackson.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 16 points and had eight rebounds for the Pistons. Anthony Tolliver scored 12 and had six rebounds off the bench.
The Jazz cut the lead to 88-87 on Rudy Gobert’s floater, but the Pistons responded with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s layup and a jumper from Jackson with 1:08 left in the game.
Rodney Hood led the Jazz with 23 points while Gordon Hayward added 22. Gobert finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds.
The Jazz offense was stagnant and shot just 22.7 percent from the field in the first quarter and 31.7 percent in the entire half.
Ilyasova scored 13 in the first half to help Jackson carry the offensive load.
Pistons: Detroit had a scare late in the third quarter when Andre Drummond was undercut going up for a lob from Brandon Jennings. He didn’t miss any time and Chris Johnson was called for a flagrant foul. … Drummond was held to seven points, six rebounds and no blocks.
Jazz: Utah has lost five of its last seven games. … The Jazz used a short stint of Hack-A-Dre against Drummond late in the third quarter. … Hood scored 11 straight Jazz points to start the fourth quarter.
Jazz forward Derrick Favors returned to the floor after a 16-game absence do to a back problem. He played just 19 minutes, but Snyder said that was due to conditioning. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds. The Jazz’s injury bad luck continued when starting point guard Raul Neto left the game in the first quarter after getting hit in the head. The rookie did not return due to concussion-like symptoms.
The Pistons broke out into a snowball fight after their shootaround at the University of Utah on Monday. Coach Stan Van Gundy said that kind of close friendship on a team isn’t always a great thing. “It can work either way,” Van Gundy said. “It should, but it can also go to where you are so into the friendship that you are too worried about that to hold someone accountable. It can work either way and that is a hard balance for guys to find.”
The Pistons host the 76ers on Wednesday.
The Jazz host the Hornets on Wednesday.