Detroit (38-24) at Utah (30-30)

  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Mon Mar 1, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Pistons will go for their fifth straight win and a rare sweep of the Utah Jazz when they visit the Delta Center.

The Pistons beat the Jazz 96-75 at home on Dec. 21 to position themselves for their first sweep in the series since 1998-99, when the teams met only once because of a lockout. Detroit has swept Utah only three other times.

Detroit, 10-23 all-time in road games against the Jazz, has won its last two trips to Utah after dropping the previous 11 from 1990-2001.

The Pistons, who are tied with New Jersey for second place in the Eastern Conference, kicked off their four-game West Coast trip with a 100-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

Chauncey Billups scored 28 points, Richard Hamilton had 21 and Ben Wallace recorded his 30th double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit.

“This was a great win for us and I think it sets the tone for the rest of the road trip,” said Billups, whose team improved to 3-6 in road games against Western Conference foes.

Detroit had dropped eight of nine before its current four-game run, which is the team’s longest since winning a club record-tying 13 in a row from Dec. 27-Jan. 19.

The Pistons, 12-6 in the second half of back-to-back games this season, including 7-3 on the road, have shot 50 percent (71-for-142) over their last two games.

Billups, who is averaging a career-high 17.8 points, has converted 53 percent (17-for-32) of his shots over his last three, averaging 21.0 points and 7.0 assists in that span.

The Jazz are 2 1/2 games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the West.

Utah is coming in off a 102-97 victory over NBA-leading Sacramento on Friday, and is looking to climb above .500 for the first time since being 24-23 on Jan. 31.

Andrei Kirilenko had 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Jazz. The Russian forward, who made his first All-Star appearance this season, has averaged 23.2 points in seven games since the break.

Rookie Maurice Williams added 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting off the bench.

“By far, this was the best game I had as a pro,” said Williams, who is averaging 5.1 points. “Hopefully many more to come.”

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