The Utah Jazz didn't have the most successful road trip, but they showed they're not going to give up when they're down.Lately, the team hasn't had to play catch-up at EnergySolutions Arena.The Jazz look to extend their season-best home winning streak to eight games Friday night when the Sacramento Kings try to end their four-game losing streak.Back home briefly before playing seven of 11 on the road, the Jazz (27-24) would like to deliver a full 48-minute effort on Friday after facing double-digit deficits twice on their just-completed 1-2 trip.Utah opened that stretch with a 139-133 quadruple-overtime loss to Atlanta on Sunday, failing to win a seventh straight game despite erasing a 15-point halftime deficit.After outscoring New Jersey by 14 in the final 12 minutes of Monday's 105-84 victory, the Jazz rallied from 18 down in the third quarter on Wednesday before falling 94-82 to Boston."That's definitely something we've shown on this road trip. We have fight. We're never going to give up," Gordon Hayward said after scoring a team-best 19 points. "... We've just got to be a little bit better in the first half and not get down so we don't have to fight back like that."The Jazz have trailed just once at halftime during their home winning streak.Utah's last 8-0 run at home was part of a 10-game win streak from Feb. 24-April 6, 2010.The Kings (17-33), a Western Conference-worst 4-22 on the road, will also try to snap a four-game skid in Salt Lake City after losing 96-93 in their lone visit this season Jan. 28.Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette airballed a 3-pointer in the final seconds of that game that would have given Sacramento the lead, but it's unlikely he'll have the ball in his hands should Friday's game go down to the wire. Fredette has 23 total points over the last eight contests and is averaging less than 10 minutes during that stretch, with fellow rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas taking a firm grip on the starting job.Thomas, who has averaged 14.8 points and 5.3 assists since being inserted into the starting five on Feb. 17, had a season-best 28 points with 10 assists in Wednesday's 117-112 loss to San Antonio.While the Kings shot a season-best 54.7 percent from the field, the Spurs made 53.8 percent of their shots, including 10 of 20 from 3-point range. Sacramento is allowing 110.8 points per game in its last five - 7.0 more than its league-worst average.Utah, meanwhile, is averaging 105.1 points during its home winning streak.Al Jefferson, averaging team highs of 19.7 points and 9.2 rebounds in six games during that stretch, is tied with Hayward for the most points (50) against the Kings in 2011-12.Utah improved to 2-1 in those matchups and snapped Sacramento's season high-tying three-game win streak March 22 with a 103-102 road win as Jefferson scored 26 points and Hayward added 18.Tyreke Evans shot 11 of 17 and finished with a team-best 25 points in that contest, but he needs to get more involved in the Kings' offense after taking a season-low five shots and scoring six points Wednesday. Evans' 22.9 career scoring average versus Utah is his best against any team.Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 18 rebounds in each of the two games these teams played in Sacramento this season.Utah has won eight of nine at home in this series.
The San Jose Sharks not only lost in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, but also lost their second-leading scorer to injury.
Joe Thornton left the final minute of the game with an apparent injury to his right knee. With Jets forward Andrew Copp backchecking, Mikkel Boedker collided into Thornton's knee in front of the Sharks bench.
Thornton took a stride on each leg as he skated gingerly to the bench, and did not return to the game.
The 38-year-old underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee this summer. He missed the final three games of the regular season last year, but returned to play in San Jose's final four postseason games in a first round, six-game loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Thornton is second on the Sharks with 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists), and has scored nine points in his last seven games. He is second among forwards in average ice time, and is playing 18:20 per night in his 20th NHL season.
With 2:50 left in Tuesday's game against the Knicks, Kevin Durant was ejected.
It's the fourth time this season that he's been thrown out of a game.
After the Warriors' 123-112 win, Durant didn't bite his tongue when asked about what happened between him and referee James Williams.
"In the first half, I was dribbling up the right side, I made a left to right cross. He said I carried, ah, you kinda let that go. I asked him 'Where'd you get the carry from?' He said 'You froze the defender.' I said 'That's what a crossover is for.' And that's why I do it, to freeze my defender. And he tried to make a bunch of excuses and I told him he was wrong," Durant said. "He went to halftime probably with an attitude and the second half, his whole thing was, he's trying to get me. So, look at my first tech. I got the rebound, dribbled the ball hard and he teched me up. He was searching for me, he lookin' to try to tech me up to get me back because he's still in his feelings from the first half. That's what been going on around the league the whole year, a bunch of that. I gotta keep my head a little bit, but I was upset."
Draymond Green attempted to hold Durant back prior to the ejection. Durant was asked about that after the game and was able to laugh about it.
"The irony," Durant said to much laughter from reporters at Oracle.
"I was not trying to hear it. He was right in doing so. I didn't want to get teched up or thrown out, but I did want him to hear what I had to say," Durant said.
Durant can expect to hear from the league office regarding his comments.