SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings return to the court Sunday afternoon looking to snap their three-game losing streak. They’ll face a quality Utah Jazz team that has worked their way into potential home court advantage during the first round of the playoffs.
Sacramento has struggled on both ends of the floor as they transition to a new offense late in the season. They have had three days off to work out some of the kinks and have spent plenty of time working on offensive sets with their young and inexperienced roster.
Utah is led by first-time All-Star Gordon Hayward, who is averaging a career-best 22.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He’s flanked by a talented defensive frontline that includes Derrick Favors and shot blocking center Rudy Gobert. Veteran point guard George Hill has missed time with injuries this season, but he’s coming off a 34-point, seven-assist performance in the Jazz’ win over the Nets on Friday night.
Jazz by 9.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Darren Collison vs. George Hill -- Collison has struggled to find his footing in the new world order of the Kings. Instead of taking over the scoring load as the number one option, he’s averaging just 11.5 points per game in the four contests since DeMarcus Cousins was traded away. Hill has either been really good for the Jazz or injured. The veteran guard is having his best season as a pro, averaging 17.6 points on 41.1 percent shooting from long range. But he’s missed 25 games with various injuries. If he can stay healthy, the Jazz might make some noise in the postseason.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 25-36, third place in Pacific
Jazz: 38-24, first place in Northwest
Kings: G/F Garrett Temple (left hamstring partial tear) questionable, SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
Jazz: SG Rodney Hood (knee) questionable, SG Joe Johnson (groin) questionable.
The season series is all tied up 1-1 between the Kings and the Jazz this season with each team taking a game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Utah leads the all-time series 100-82 and holds a 77-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
"I'm feeling good. Went through the last two practices full-throttle and no ill effects. So we'll see how it goes." -Garrett Temple on his availability after missing 12 games with an injured hamstring.