SACRAMENTO -- Coming off a riveting overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings look to make it two in a row Saturday evening. They’ll face a Utah Jazz team that’s fighting for their playoff life.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 23 points against Brooklyn, but it was the late game heroics of fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox that bought Sacramento an extra five minutes. Fox hit a floater on the baseline to tie the game and he and Bogdanovic dominated the overtime session.
Utah is coming off a big win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert each scored 26, but the Jazz were forced to play their starters major minutes before hopping a flight for Sacramento.
The Jazz have won 13 of their last 15 games and sit just two games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Jazz by 6.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Bogdan Bogdanovic vs. Donovan Mitchell -- The last time these two teams faced off, Mitchell lit the Kings up for 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting. Bogdanovic put on a show as well, dropping in a career-high 25 points on 9-of-11 from the floor and 6-for-6 from long range. It will take a team effort to slow Mitchell, who is in a dog fight for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year trophy.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 19-43, four place in Pacific
Jazz: 32-30, fifth place in Northwest
Kings: C Willie Cauley-Stein (lower back strain) doubtful, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (plantar fasciitis) out, F Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.
Jazz: PG Raul Nieto (ankle) doubtful, PG Dante Exum (shoulder) out, SF Thabo Sefolosha (knee) out, Dante Exum (shoulder) out.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Learn from your success -- Dave Joerger turned the game over to his young core on Thursday night and they almost blew the game. It took a big-time shot from Fox and a gutsy performance in overtime, but they pulled out the win. It’s a game the team can build from as they enter the final 20 games of the season.
Match force -- The Jazz are a physical team that likes to attack the rim. They got even more physical at the deadline with the addition of Jae Crowder and they have everything to play for. The Kings need to find a way to match the intensity of a team that is fighting for their playoff life.
Replacing Willie -- Cauley-Stein is likely out for the game due to a lower back strain. Kosta Koufos might get the start against big man Rudy Gobert, but it’s going to take strong performances from Skal Labissiere and Zach Randolph if the Kings hope to make it two in a row.
The Jazz hold a 1-0 advantage in the season series and they’ve won three straight over the Kings. Utah leads the all-time series 103-82 and holds a 80-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.