Kings take Jazz down to the wire, end up singing losing tune
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance to watch the Utah Jazz host the Sacramento Kings at Vivint Smart Home Arena Saturday evening and the two teams didn’t disappoint. Despite playing their fifth game in seven nights, the Kings fought the Jazz tooth and nail before falling in the final minute of the game.
With the 103-97 victory, Utah pushed their win streak to nine games. Fighting for their playoff lives, the Jazz turned to Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and the duo answered the call.
Buddy Hield kept the Kings in the game as long as he could, but in the end, the Jazz, along with a brutal stretch in the schedule, were too much to overcome.
Mitchell hit the Kings for 28 points on 11-for-21 shooting and Gobert added 22 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in the win. Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors made solid contributions as well, but it was the Utah’s big two that carried them to victory.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Hield is turning it on. The second-year guard came into the night averaging 23 points, 6.5 rebounds and five assists over his previous two games. Against the Jazz, he dropped in 23 points, six rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes of action. If this is the player he is going to be, the Kings have another piece to the puzzle.
The Kings tied the game with just over a minute remaining, but the Jazz hit their freebies and found a way to pull it out down the stretch. Sacramento showed incredible resilience over the last week as they traveled to meet one playoff team after another.
Willie Cauley-Stein cut the middle finger on his right hand on the rim during the first quarter, but was able to return to the game. Zach Randolph was out of the rotation and did not play, while Vince Carter missed the game due to personal reasons. Iman Shumpert continues to miss games due to plantar fasciitis and Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings return home following the game where they’ll finish the month of March with six straight at Golden 1 Center beginning Monday against the Detroit Pistons. They’ll host the Hawks, Celtics, Mavericks, Pacers and Warriors before heading back out on the road in April.