Utah Jazz: Coach Corbin used criticism to motivate Utah in 103-90 win over Detroit
Detroit whittled Utah's one-time lead of 18 down to five in the fourth quarter, and it appeared the Jazz might've entered meltdown mode yet again.
A tough Hayward turnaround shot temporarily halted the Pistons' progress, and then Mo Williams all but clinched it by nailing a 3-pointer and another long jumper in a 6-0 run that put Utah up 94-82 with four minutes remaining.
It capped what was by far Williams' best game since returning from his 32-game absence last Wednesday.
"It just takes some time to get your rhythm back and for the guys to read him because we have changed a tremendous amount since he got hurt; the team has grown in different ways," Corbin said of Williams, who hit 9 of 14 shots. "I thought he had some great minutes to close the game and made some big shots for us."
But the warning from Corbin to his players remains the same.
"I tell our guys, 'A lot of people, they're going to pile on. That's what they do. That's what sells,'" Corbin said. "We have to make sure (we remember) who we are, what's at hand and play our game."
And keep that belief in the locker room that a postseason is possible no matter what outsiders say.
That was a point Corbin made in the pregame that appeared even more convincing after the Jazz came through in the clutch.
"We're still in the big picture. We're still developing. We're still learning. We're still in the battle," Corbin said. "Although guys think it's over, that's not in our locker room. We'll still working and trying to get better as we have been all year. We've made some mistakes. We've had some successes. We'll get this thing figured out and continue to work."
NOTES: Not only did Evans have a career-high five assists, but he also played the entire fourth quarter, even hitting a key jumper down the stretch. "It was great to see Jeremy step up, play good," Big Al said. "You can tell his confidence is getting there." The Jazz outshot the Pistons 51.9 percent to 42.5 percent and outrebounded the visitors 47-30. Paul Millsap (bruised right patella/quadriceps tendon) and Jamaal Tinsley (illness) did not dress. New Jazz guard Travis Leslie, signed to a 10-day contract Sunday, was in uniform but did not play.
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