Former Utah Jazz players Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks made key plays and combined to score 41 points against their old team to help the Detroit Pistons earn a 125-116 victory Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
Bogdanovic, playing in Utah for the first time since being traded two months ago, led Detroit with 23 points. Burks scored 18 as Detroit finished a tough back-to-back set in the Rocky Mountains with consecutive wins. The Pistons, who eked out a win at Denver on Tuesday, had lost their first 10 road games.
Kevin Knox II added 21 points, including six 3-pointers and Marvin Bagley III chipped in 19 points to contribute to Detroit’s fifth win on the season.
Malik Beasley drained eight 3-pointers and scored a game-high 29 points off the bench to pace the Jazz, but a couple of his misses late in the fourth quarter proved costly as Utah’s rally fell short.
Jordan Clarkson scored 24 for Utah, which trailed by as many as 14 points, but Lauri Markkanen had an off-night with just 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting as the Jazz lost for the fourth time in their past six games.
Collin Sexton, filling in for the injured Mike Conley, dished out a career-high 12 assists and scored 17 points in a starting role.
Markkanen hit two free throws and Clarkson made a layup after an Olynyk offensive rebound to bring Utah within three with 3:49 remaining after Utah fell behind by nine earlier in the fourth.
Burks and Bogdanovic then made their old team pay with a 3-pointer and two free throws, respectively, to increase Detroit’s lead to 118-110.
Bogdanovic received a loud ovation from his adoring Jazz fans when he was introduced in the starting lineup, and a video tribute to him was played in the arena in the first quarter. He was dealt to Detroit in a package that sent Kelly Olynyk (eight points, six assists) to Utah during the Jazz’s active offseason.
Coincidentally, Clarkson passed Bogdanovic for the fifth spot on Utah’s all-time 3-pointers list with 551 in the third quarter.
The Jazz fell behind by nine early, rallied to briefly take the lead but then saw the Pistons take a 14-point first-half lead.
Detroit took a 66-54 lead into halftime.