The Utah Jazz played their first home game after a road trip that had them battling in three over time periods and the weather itself before finding a way back to the Beehive State. The adage is that the first home game back from a road trip is like another road game itself, but I don't know how true that should be for a team that was idle for two nights. The Jazz fell at home to the Detroit Pistons 95-92 as a buzzer beating three pointer by Gordon Hayward was short. It was a remarkable comeback for the team that was down by double digits for most of the game, and never actually led it. But it was another loss. The Jazz saw the return of Derrick Favors from injury (his last game was December 23rd, 2015), but saw starting point guard Raul Neto go down with a concussion. Raul will have to complete the same concussion protocol that Trevor Booker did, but I don't know if he can go through it as quickly as the bigman.
In this game Rudy Gobert was abusing Andre Drummond early and often. However, the Jazz couldn't stop the Pistons' deep attack, and their 11/22 shooting from outside hurt Utah more than Utah's reunited bigman group hurt Detroit.
Rodney Hood led the charge in the fourth quarter by making his first four shots to trim the lead to something worth fighting for. Gordon Hayward took the reigns and plowed his way to the basket over and over again. And this was a good game in the end -- what really energized the crowd was Drummond missing two free throws in the fourth. He was summarily benched in crunch time by Stan Van Gundy. Detroit did just enough to win -- including getting away with a lot of holding before the Jazz could inbound the ball. I expect the NBA Refs to look over it and admit there was something missed after the fact, and too late to make a difference in the outcome.
A home loss by three, or a chance to win it in overtime? I think we all would have been happier with another OT game. But moreover, we would have been happier with something better than a 22-13 first quarter in favor of the road team on the end of their long road trip.
Rodney Hood led the team with 23 points (6/9 from deep), and added 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Gordon Hayward had 22 (7/7 from the FT line), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block. Rudy Gobert was huge, with 17 points, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. Derrick Favors came off the bench toe net 14 points to go along with his 5 rebounds. Trey Lyles, Raul Neto, and Trey Burke combined to shoot 1 for 15 for the night. Ouch. Trey at least had 6 assists in this game. Joe Ingles had a very solid outing, with 5 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal on Australia Day.
Ultimately, Clark said it best:
Jazz are going to come back and lose this in a close one and people are going to be like, "the effort was incredible." #playhardforlast6mins— Clark Schmutz (@Clarkpojo) January 26, 2016
The Jazz play next on Wednesday, hosting the Charlotte Hornets. Woo!