Trey Burke returned to the state of Michigan on Friday for the first time since officially turning pro on June 27. And the former Michigan Wolverine reminded the 18,528 fans in attendance why he swept all of the NCAA National Player of the Year awards last season.
After a competitive 27-25 first quarter at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Burke and the Jazz blew out the home team Pistons en route to a 110-89 final score.
After going scoreless in the first quarter, Burke finished with 20 points and 12 assists to lead the Jazz. Enes Kanter scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench, and Marvin Williams added 17 points and seven rebounds. Derrick Favors had eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
“It felt good to get the win,” said Burke. “We had a lot of fun out there tonight as a team. We came out and matched their intensity every quarter and we never let up.
Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 21 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Andre Drummond had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Brandon Jennings finished with 11 points and six assists. After scoring 25 and 22 points in his previous two outings, Josh Smith had only four points for Detroit on 1-of-6 shooting.
Playing their first game since Jan. 11, the Pistons left their home floor to a chorus of boos from the few fans that remained.
“It’s unexplainable to me,” said Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks on the team’s lack of energy. “Maybe the days off had to do with it.”
“We just didn’t come out to compete,” added Stuckey. “That’s pretty much it. We were flat offensively and defensively we need to figure it out.”
The Pistons travel to Washington on Saturday and return home to face the L.A. Clippers on Monday. Utah plays back-to-back games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and Tuesday – first at Minnesota, then at home.