Hayward leads Jazz past Pistons 97-83

Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood (5) shoots during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and George Hill added 17 and the Utah Jazz beat the Detroit Pistons 97-83 on Wednesday night.

Hayward added eight rebounds and six assists, while Rudy Gobert had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Utah won for the sixth time in seven games, but a late rally by Detroit forced Quin Snyder to use his starters late with a game Thursday night in Cleveland.

Aron Baynes had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit, which lost for the second straight night and is in danger of falling back out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons lost 128-96 in Cleveland on Tuesday.

The Jazz jumped ahead 26-11 early, with Hayward and Gobert each scoring 10 points in the first quarter. Detroit rallied at the end of the first, pulling within nine at 28-19, but things got worse in the second.

Utah's defense was in top gear, holding the Pistons to 26.9 percent shooting in a 16-point second quarter. Detroit missed its only two 3-pointers of the period as the Jazz took a comfortable 54-35 lead.

Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, usually three of Detroit's more reliable scorers, combined to shoot 2 of 15 in the half.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy went to his bench early in the third, benching Reggie Jackson in the first three minutes, but it barely helped. Detroit continued to struggle with its jumper and still trailed 77-62 at the end of the period.

With the Jazz keeping their starters on the bench, the Pistons' reserves cut the deficit to nine midway through the fourth. That forced Snyder to bring back his first unit, while Van Gundy stuck with his bench.

Hayward's 3-pointer made it 87-73 with 5:33 left, and Utah comfortably held on.


Jazz: Gobert blocked a shot for the 36th straight game, the longest streak in Jazz history by anyone other than Mark Eaton. A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Eaton had four longer streaks, including 71 and 75 games.

Pistons: Went 2 of 19 on shots outside the paint in the first half. ... Caldwell-Pope missed a chance at a four-point play with 4:22 to play, knocking the free throw off the rim. It was only Detroit's second 3-pointer of the game.


Not only did Utah sweep the season series from the Pistons, the Jazz did it in emphatic style. On Jan. 13, they beat Detroit 110-77 behind 27 points from Rodney Hood, 22 from Hill and 20 from Hayward.


Utah: Visits Cleveland on Thursday.

Detroit: Hosts Toronto on Friday.

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