By JOHN COON/Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Mo Williams scored 20 points, Al Jefferson had 16 and the Utah Jazz snapped a four-game losing streak with a 103-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.
Reserves Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter added 14 points apiece for the Jazz (33-31), who moved into a tie with the idle Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah had dropped seven of eight overall.
Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko each had 15 points for the Pistons (23-43), who lost their sixth straight game.
The Jazz returned home after a winless four-game trip and got back on the right track by controlling the area around the basket. Utah outrebounded Detroit 47-30, and Derrick Favors had three of the Jazz’s nine blocked shots.
The Pistons closed to 84-79 on Will Bynum’s two free throws with 7:01 left, but Mo Williams helped Utah hold on for the sorely needed victory.
Williams made a 3-pointer and a jumper to spark a decisive 12-3 run. He capped the surge with a driving layup that gave the Jazz a 100-85 lead with 2:00 left.
Detroit point guard Brandon Knight sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and did not return. His leg buckled after he was fouled by Jazz guard Randy Foye on a drive to the basket.
It’s been a rough couple of days for Knight, who was on receiving end of a monster dunk by DeAndre Jordan in Detroit’s 129-97 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.
Utah opened the second quarter with a 16-2 run to take a 36-21 lead. Kanter finished off the run by with an underhanded layup.
Detroit rallied in the second half. Jose Calderon made a 3-pointer and a jumper as the Pistons put together a 9-2 surge that trimmed Utah’s lead to 55-46 with 8:57 left.
Stuckey fed Monroe for a layup that got the Pistons within six heading to the final period, but the rally fizzled down the stretch.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)