Rookie Cade Cunningham set a new career best with 29 points and the host Detroit Pistons rallied from a 22-point deficit to defeat the Utah Jazz 126-116 on Monday.
Cunningham, the top pick in the draft, scored all but five of his points after halftime. He also dished out eight of Detroit’s 30 assists.
Saddiq Bey matched Cunningham with 29 points, while Cory Joseph contributed 16 points off the bench. Trey Lyles added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz, who have lost three straight, with 31 points. Hassan Whiteside contributed 21 points and 14 rebounds and Jordan Clarkson tossed in 16 points.
Utah was missing five players who were in the league’s health and safety protocol, including starting center Rudy Gobert.
Rex Kalamian coached the Pistons after head coach Dwane Casey entered the protocol earlier in the day.
Led by Whiteside’s 18 points, the Jazz jumped to a 61-48 halftime lead.
Utah took control right from the opening tip, scoring 13 of the game’s first 15 points.
The Jazz led 35-21 after the first quarter. Whiteside scored six points during an 8-0 Utah run to make it 48-27. Mike Conley made two free throws midway through the quarter to nudge the advantage to 22, 54-32.
Cunningham and Hayes hit 3-pointers during a 16-7 Pistons run at the end of the half to cut their team’s deficit to 13.
Detroit also scored the first six points of the second half, including a Cunningham 3-pointer. Cunningham soon made another to slice Utah’s lead to 65-61.
Cunningham continued his hot shooting, and when he made a 3-pointer with 3:54 left in the quarter, it tied the score at 73 apiece. His three-point play put Detroit on top, 83-82. The Pistons carried an 88-84 lead into the fourth.
Utah opened the fourth with a 9-2 run to regain the lead. A 7-0 spurt that included a 3-pointer and two assists from Joseph allowed Detroit to gain a six-point advantage. Joseph’s 3-pointer with 5:20 remaining made it 111-101.
Mitchell helped Utah close within five, but another corner 3 from Joseph allowed Detroit to close it out.
–Field Level Media