SALT LAKE CITY--When it rains, it pours.
It might be a tired cliche, but it definitely fits the Pistons' current situation.
In a 24-hour period, the Pistons saw one of their best young players--Brandon Knight--become the subject of jokes nationwide.
Then they watched the same player suffer what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
And, of course, the Pistons took two losses, Monday night's victor being the slumping Jazz.
The Jazz's 103-90 win extended the Pistons' Salt Lake City futility to 10 seasons with the last victory coming in November 2002.
The Pistons are 0-2 on their four-game western trip and have lost nine of 10 as they have started jockeying for NBA draft lottery position.
The end result was the same--a loss--but the Pistons put up a better fight than the 32-point beating they suffered to the Clippers on Sunday night.
They fell behind by 18 points in the first half but cut the lead to five with 8:06 remaining on a Khris Middleton triple.
But the Jazz, fighting for its playoff life, regained control, and two Al Jefferson jumpers and a Mo Williams lay-up gave Utah a 100-85 lead with 2 minutes left.
Williams led the Jazz with 20 points and six assists, and the Jazz bench combined for 54 points.
The Pistons responded--for the most part--to Greg Monroe's challenge to play with more effort.
Assistant coach Brian Hill, filling in for head coach Lawrence Frank who is away from the team because of his wife's illness, said before the game it's a good sign when young players start taking ownership.
"We need that from somebody," Hill said. "So if it's going to be Brandon and Greg, who are going to be two of the guys that this team is going to be built around for years to come, then it might as well start now.
"It needs to be said: To me the more peer pressure you have within your basketball team, player-on-player, is a sign of a lot of the really good teams in the league."
Knight probably would like to start the week over.
After seeing his name become fodder for TV analysts and social-media users because he was victimized by a thunder dunk from Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Knight left the game Monday with an injured left ankle.
The injury occurred at 8:28 of the first quarter. Knight tried to drive to the basket against Jazz guard Randy Foye when he took an awkward step.
He fell to the floor, clutching the ankle. After receiving aid, he was helped to the locker room, but he couldn't put weight on the ankle.
He was fouled on the play but was unable to shoot the free throws and was done for the evening.
The Pistons' initial diagnosis is a left ankle sprain.
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