AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Trey Burke had 20 points and a career-high 12 assists in his return to Michigan, and the Utah Jazz routed the Detroit Pistons 110-89 on Friday night.
Burke, who was the national player of the year at Michigan last season and led the Wolverines to the Final Four, had plenty of supporters in the crowd at the Palace. He shook off a slow start and outplayed Detroit counterpart Brandon Jennings as the Jazz built a big lead.
Enes Kanter added 18 points for Utah and Marvin Williams scored 17. Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 21, but Detroit looked flat for much of the game after a five-day layoff.
The Pistons had a chance to draft Burke with the No. 8 pick last year, but took Kentavious Caldwell-Pope instead.
Burke signed autographs before the game, and when the Jazz took the floor, his teammates waited several seconds before coming out of the tunnel with him. That left a somewhat confused Burke alone out on the court, where he heard some cheers from the crowd.
Burke got another ovation when he was announced with the Utah starters, and the Jazz opened the scoring when he made a clever pass to Derrick Favors for a dunk.
The crowd at the Palace was announced at 18,528, and there was plenty of maize and blue around. Burke didn’t score until the second quarter, when his 3-pointer put the Jazz up 44-37.
A steal and a layup by Burke made it 50-42, and there were some boos for the home team when Utah took a 58-45 lead into halftime.
The second half didn’t start any better. The Jazz scored the first eight points of the third quarter and led 66-45 after a dunk by Favors.
Burke scored nine points in the third quarter, capping it with a driving floater off the glass in the final seconds for an 89-65 lead.
Utah’s lead reached 29 in the fourth. Detroit’s vaunted front line of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith combined for only 18 points on 5-of-18 shooting. Smith and Monroe made only one field goal each.
Detroit passed up a chance to take Burke, the local favorite, and instead the Pistons addressed the point-guard spot by trading for Jennings, who has impressed at times but been inconsistent. He scored 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting Friday.
Burke turned the ball over seven times, but he surpassed his previous career high of 11 assists with a pass to a cutting Jeremy Evans in the fourth quarter.