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By DOUG ALDEN
AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Jazz -- what was left of them anyway -- welcomed back their frustrated owner with quite a performance. With essentially nine players, the Jazz rallied with a dominant second half and beat Detroit 92-78 Monday night -- holding the Pistons to just 27 points in the second half and snapping their six-game winning streak. "We are a real inconsistent team and a performance like this makes us happy," said Andrei Kirilenko, who had 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. "We need to continue to do this kind of job." Utah already had its three inactive spots filled and lost another player when point guard Deron Williams didn't dress because of an ear infection. Center Greg Ostertag lasted barely 2 minutes before he had to leave with a sore knee and rookie C.J. Miles never got in the game, leaving just nine members of the Jazz to accomplish what only two other teams have done this season -- beat the Pistons. "We've talked about it and talked about it and this second half they seemed to have the idea that if we make a mistake then we pull for each other and we play through it," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. Utah owner Larry Miller returned to his courtside seat after skipping eight home games because he was frustrated with his team's inconsistency. "I came in prepared for the rest of the year to kind of not have expectations of the outcome of the games -- just to go with what happened," Miller said after the game. "The game itself, especially the second half, was terrific." Utah's Mehmet Okur finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds against his former team, which was winding up a four-game road trip and had played the night before in Los Angeles against the Clippers. Detroit shot only 9-for-32 from the field in the second half and gave Utah two baskets on goaltending calls in the fourth quarter, when the Jazz outscored the Pistons 29-12. Detroit also made just eight of 15 free throws in the second half. The Jazz outrebounded Detroit 55-27, pulling down 17 offensive boards and frustrating the Pistons. "We seemed to lose our energy," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "They were more aggressive and the team that's more aggressive is going to get the loose balls, get the calls and have things fall their way." Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace scored 16 points apiece for Detroit, which still has the best record in the NBA at 15-3. Chauncey Billups, Hamilton and Ben Wallace all were called for technical fouls. "I'm sick of this ...," said Ben Wallace, who cursed twice in postgame comments regarding the officiating. Milt Palacio and Sloan also got technicals for the Jazz in the game, which had 52 personal fouls -- 26 for each team. After trailing 51-38 at halftime, Utah scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to get back within range, then took over in the final period. "It's great to win and I think we did a pretty good job, especially in the second half," Kirilenko said. "We were being so focused and we didn't let them score at all." Kirilenko threw a pass nearly the length of the court to Palacio, who missed on a layup attempt, but Okur was there for the rebound. After missing on the putback, he grabbed his own offensive rebound and his second layup rolled in to tie it at 70. After a shot-clock violation and a timeout by Detroit, Matt Harpring put Utah up with a jumper from the free-throw line. Detroit tied it again, then Okur answered with a 3-pointer to put Utah up 75-72. Jarron Collins drew an offensive foul on Antonio McDyess. Kirilenko added a layup off an offensive rebound, Jarron Collins hit a turnaround jumper and Okur added a free throw after Ben Wallace's technical foul with 5:49 left. Kirilenko completed the 10-0 run for the Jazz on a driving left-handed layup. Kirilenko, who was limping earlier in the quarter, later tipped a pass from Palacio up and over the rim to put Utah up 89-76 with 2:47 remaining. That just about sealed it and the Jazz got a standing ovation from most of the 18,275 fans at the end. Notes:@ Former Jazz guard Carlos Arroyo was booed when he entered the game late in the first quarter. ... The Pistons made 14 of 15 free throws in the first half. ... Harpring, who was nursing a sore knee, finished with 11 points.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-12-12-05 2306MST