'Winning helps cure a lot of things': Jazz find a way scrap out victory over Detroit

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SALT LAKE CITY — There were moments when it was easy to think, "Well, here it comes again."

Cade Cunningham's 17-point first half; the 13-4 Detroit run to start the second half; or the time when Mike Conley and Joe Ingles fell to the ground after colliding with one another, which led to a wide-open Pistons 3-pointer.

All of those partially encapsulate what has gone wrong over the last two weeks for the Utah Jazz.

"When you get into a slump like we've been, it's almost harder to find a win, no matter who we play," Conley said.

It wasn't easy on Friday — far from it — but the Jazz earned a much-needed 111-101 win against the Detroit Pistons at Vivint Arena.

It snapped, at least temporarily, the Jazz out of a slump that saw them lose six of its last seven games.

After the last two weeks, it frankly didn't matter who it was against or how it got done; all that mattered for Utah was to get a win. Goal accomplished.

With that as the backdrop, it made sense why the Jazz were proud of beating an 11-win team fighting for the title of league's worst.

"Our communication was good," said Rudy Gobert, who had a season-high 24 points in the win. "There's always gonna be mistakes in a basketball game but those same mistakes were not happening twice. We communicated. It's great. That's the team we know we can be."

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team guarded small-small pick and rolls better than they had all season, and Bojan Bogdanovic claimed there was more individual pride on defense.

All of that to only be up by 1 point to a bad Detroit team with six minutes remaining. But, hey, unlike most of the last seven games, they were at least able to pull away.

The Jazz have Conley and Gobert to thank for that. With Donovan MItchell still sidelined by concussion symptoms, the two combined to score 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Conley finished with 19 points, four assists and four rebounds on the night.

"Winning helps cure a lot of things," Conley said. "It felt like we hadn't won in forever the way we've been playing, and how we've been feeling. Just to get a win in the way we did tonight and have certain guys step up."

Guys like Trent Forrest, who played 18 minutes and finished with 8 points and four assists. His drive game in the third quarter helped withstand a Detroit run and he slowed Cunningham down after a hot start.

"I thought our bench, defensively — those guys did a really good job competing, and that was the difference in the game," Snyder said.

Utah shot 32% from 3-point range, continuing a cold streak from a team that is usually one of the league's most lethal from the outside. Even that, though, could be seen as a positive in a way. The Jazz were forced to win the game another way, and they succeeded.

"It's good to win a game where we don't shoot well," Snyder said.

Heck, it was good to just win a game at all for the Jazz. Utah got to the free throw line 34 times and only allowed 19 points in the fourth quarter to help overcome the off night from deep.

"I'm shooting bad; we've been shooting bad as a team lately," said Bogdanovic, who had 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting. "So we are trying to drive more and get to the free-throw line to get some easy baskets."

That was enough to taste victory again, but with the stark realization that tougher challenges are coming. The Jazz did some good things against Detroit. They'll need to do much more in upcoming games against the Warriors, Suns (twice) and Grizzlies.

For now, though, the slump has been paused. The next week will reveal if it's over.

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