An impressive fourth-quarter run against the Sacramento Kings helped the Utah Jazz remain undefeated at home.Now, the Jazz will try to extend their season-high three-game winning streak with a home-and-home sweep Saturday night.Down by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, Utah (7-6) rallied for a 104-102 victory as Gordon Hayward's 22-foot jumper with 4.5 seconds left was the difference. He finished with a team-high 23 points."We turned the ball over (13 times), unfinished plays, everything we had done to get in that position on the road, in this building against a good team where you don't win that often," Kings coach Keith Smart told the league's official website after his team fell to 0-5 on the road. "Too much one-on-one and it cost us the game."The Jazz, meanwhile, improved to 5-0 at home and moved above the break-even point for the first time since an opening night win over Dallas."I thought we won with a lot of grit, gut, staying together," coach Tyrone Corbin said.The Jazz may need that type of effort again considering close finishes between these teams have become common. They split four contests last season, with the games decided by a total of 12 points.In their last visit to Sacramento on March 22, the Jazz won 103-102 as Al Jefferson delivered the game-winner with 0.9 seconds left.Utah goes for its first back-to-back road wins since that contest. A victory would also give the Jazz their first 4-0 run since finishing 2011-12 on a five-game surge.Losers of six of seven, the Kings (3-9) will try to prevent that from happening as they open a stretch of five of six at home.They'll try to win two straight at home after ending a four-game skid there with Wednesday's 113-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.Sacramento made a season-best 10 3-pointers on Friday as Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette each hit three, but it needs to improve on the glass after pulling down a season-low 31 boards to Utah's 43.DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds in the loss, while Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors totaled 65 points and 27 boards.If Jazz point guard Mo Williams can't go after spraining his ankle Friday, Jamaal Tinsley will likely step in. The veteran grabbed six rebounds, handed out 12 assists and stole the ball from Brooks with 14.9 seconds left to help set up Hayward's final shot.Utah backup Earl Watson could also see more action after totaling two assists and two rebounds in nine minutes Friday. It was his first appearance of 2012-13 after undergoing season-ending knee surgery in April.
Drama. The Sacramento Kings have done their best to avoid the non-basketball related issues that often come with the NBA game, but they’ll walk into someone else’s firestorm Monday night in Phoenix.
The Suns have fired head coach Earl Watson just three games into the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Phoenix has dropped all three contests, including a 48-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on opening night and a 42-point defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Saturday.
Phoenix coach Earl Watson has been fired, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 22, 2017
Before the firing, veteran point guard tweeted out a message that has since gone viral.
Whether Bledsoe was referring to Watson or his impending release is unknown at this time.
Watson leaves with a 33-85 record in parts of three seasons with the Suns. He took over for Jeff Hornacek midway through the 2015-16 season. According to Wojnarowski, Suns ownership and management is currently meeting with the team’s assistant coaches and Jay Triano is likely to be named interim head coach.
The Kings head to Phoenix Monday to take on the Suns. It looks like If it were up to Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, he wouldn't be playing the Kings or anyone else with his current team.
On Sunday, Bledsoe let out his frustration with the following tweet:
I Dont wanna be here— Eric Bledsoe (@EBled2) October 22, 2017
The Suns fell to 0-3 on Saturday after getting crushed by the Clippers, 130-88, Sunday in Los Angeles. They are losing by an average of 30.7 points as their defense is allowing 128.7 points per game.
With the ball in their hands, the Suns' offense isn't much better, averaging a pedestrian 98 points per game.
Former teammate DeAndre Jordan chimed in on Twitter after Bledsoe's tweet too. Bledsoe spent his first three years in the NBA with Jordan on the Clippers.
Come back home bro— DeAndre Jordan (@DeAndre) October 22, 2017
Bledsoe, 28, is averaging 15.7 points and 3.0 assists per game in the young season. Over his eight-year career, Bledsoe has put up averages of 13.1 points and 4.6 assists per game.