The Utah Jazz struggled for a third straight game and fell against the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. It’s no coincidence that the team has struggled to get stops down the stretch of games without Rudy Gobert in the lineup. What is surprising is that the Jazz struggled to protect a lead even with most of their regular starters in the lineup tonight. The Jazz lead at the end of the first quarter by 14 points and gave that all back and then some with a terrible 3rd quarter in which they lost 40-23. It’s probably not panic time yet for the Jazz but they need to get their regular rotation back on track yesterday if they want to end their struggles.
The Pistons are battling with the Magic for the worst record in the league this year, but they are still an NBA team and although they don’t have a lot of wins to show for it, they have some nice young talent that have been playing better together as the season has gone along. Standout rookie Cade Cunningham lead the Pistons with 29 points and 8 assists. The Pistons also got double figures from three bench players, lead by Cory Joseph with 16 points.
Jazz center Hassan Whiteside, starting in place of Rudy Gobert tonight, had a strong bounce back game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, but the entire team frankly could not stop anybody in the second half. The Jazz lead by as much as 22 points before the first half ended and they still led by 13 at the break. Even without Rudy Gobert, this could be a game that the Jazz end up kicking themselves over if they are trying to keep pace with other western conference contenders in second half of the season. Not much else to say about this one except that it is a bad loss.
Utah ends their five game road trip at 2-3, which feels pretty bad after starting 2-0. They will come back to Salt Lake City for a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. The Pistons will travel to the Windy City for a game with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.