Trey Burke, Jazz visit Pistons in Auburn Hills
Former U of M star returns to Michigan
The Detroit Pistons seek just their second three-game winning streak of the season when they host the Utah Jazz on Friday.
The Pistons, who had a four-game run earlier in the season, have clicked offensively in their last two affairs, including a 110-108 win over Phoenix on Saturday. Josh Smith continued his solid play of late with 25 points, capped by a game-winner with 1.2 seconds left, as Detroit picked up its first win in seven home games against Western Conference opponents.
The Jazz own the worst record in the West but are a respectable 9-8 in their last 17 games. They opened their three-game road trip Wednesday with a 109-105 loss at San Antonio, their fourth straight defeat away from home.
Utah has dominated the series of late by winning 14 of the last 15 meetings, including a 103-90 decision late last season that saw Gordon Hayward come off the bench to produce 13 points.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports (Utah), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE JAZZ (13-27): Utah has been playing better after a horrid 1-14 start, but it has no chance to be at its best without Hayward, who is battling a hip flexor. Hayward, who leads the team in scoring and steals and ranks second in assists, has missed three straight games. Alec Burks has done his best to fill the gap by averaging 23.3 points while starting in place of Hayward, who could return Friday night.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (16-22): While Smith has been solid recently, averaging 18.8 points and 10.2 rebounds this month, point guard Brandon Jennings has struggled a bit with several poor shooting nights. The streaky Jennings made up for it with 18 assists — the most in the NBA this season — in the win over the Suns. Jennings still missed all five of his 3-pointers, a season-long issue for a squad that ranks last in the league by a wide margin with a 31.2 percent mark from the arc.
1. Jazz C Enes Kanter has three of his nine double-doubles in the last five games.
2. Pistons F Greg Monroe is averaging 20.3 points and 10 rebounds over his past three home games.
3. Opponents shoot 47 percent from the floor against Utah, the second-highest mark in the league, while Detroit's foes come in at 46.2, the fifth-highest percentage.