Rip Hamilton, who added 15 bench points, even gave Detroit a lead at 91-89 with 2:59 remaining when he hit a 13-foot jumper.
At the time, Utah looked like it might be on the verge of its worst loss of the season.
"I know their record doesn't reflect it right now," Bell said, "but they're surely a dangerous team and in a tight ballgame especially, because they have so many weapons. Obviously, we were having a hard time stopping them."
Detroit outscored Utah 28-25 in both the first and third quarters, and the Pistons even held a six-point edge at one time.
"They were matching us shot for shot," Williams said. "(We) couldn't seem to stop them; they couldn't seem to stop us. But when it came down to it we got the stops we needed. We made the plays. We hit the free throws."
Detroit still had a chance to force overtime, like it did here last year before losing, but McGrady hucked up an off-balance 3-pointer that badly missed with 6.8 seconds remaining.
Williams then iced it with a pair of free throws for the final score that thrilled the non-fair-weather Jazz fans who stuck around.
Utah, which struggled on defense for the first three quarters, held Detroit to just 18 points on 30.4 percent shooting in the final period. The Jazz also struggled from the field (31.3 percent) in the decisive fourth, but they hit 13-of-14 free throws in the final 12 minutes.
"We're definitely confident in the fourth," Williams said. "I just want to see us be confident in the first. You know, stop messing around."
- Booker, other locals could get NFL draft...
- Decades later, Thurl Bailey and N.C. State...
- Niumatalolo and Navy make another trip to the...
- BYU men's volleyball: Underwood and others...
- The BYU international basketball tracker: How...
- Having freshman QBs is a mixed bag for Utah
- Morning links: Which local prospects could...
- No home games for 7 weeks? RSL explains why a...
- Morning links: BYU's Eric Mika returns... 86
- BYU basketball: Cougars to play USC... 49
- BYU's Kaufusi an intriguing NFL... 26
- Morning links: NFL Draft prospect news... 18
- Oakland Raiders owner says he will... 17
- Having freshman QBs is a mixed bag for... 15
- 2016 NFL draft: Local players who might... 14
- BYU football announces full spring... 12