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Kings can't hack it in Utah, lose 106-99

A late flurry of hack-a-Shaqs nearly brought the Kings back into the game, but it wasn't enough to overcome the terrible defense that got them into a 20 point deficit.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Final - 1.27.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Sacramento Kings 22 28 20 29 99
Utah Jazz 20 30 31 25 106

Complete Coverage >

The Sacramento Kings dropped their fourth straight game tonight, losing in miserable fashion to the Utah Jazz after a terrible second half led to the Kings being down 20.  With the loss, the Kings are now in sole possession of the worst record in the Western Conference.

Sacramento nearly came back at the end of the game thanks to a "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy from Coach Malone, getting the 20 point deficit down to as little as 5 points.  The strategy resulted in Utah taking 53 free throws, the most by any team this season.

Isaiah Thomas exited the game in the 3rd quarter to what was called "stomach issues" and did not return, ending his three point streak at 37 games, second to Mitch Richmond's 39.

Jason Thompson led the way for Sacramento, scoring 19 points on an efficient 7-10 from the field to go with 11 rebounds and 2 blocks.  Derrick Williams added a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds in the losing effort.

Rookie Ben McLemore had his second good game in a row, scoring 14 points on 6-12 from the field to go with a career-high 9 rebounds and 2 assists.  McLemore looked confident both in shooting his shot and attacking the basket.

The Kings had hoped to get Rudy Gay back tonight, but he was scratched from the lineup after shootaround.  Sacramento expects Gay to be available for Wednesday's home game against the Memphis Grizzlies, and it's possible DeMarcus Cousins could be too.

Six Utah players finished in double digits, and they were led by their big man trio of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Jeremy Evans who scored 17, 16 and 14 respectively.  Both Favors and Evans finished with double-doubles.

For the opponent's perspective, visit SLC Dunk.

P.S. For you night owls, the Kings will be releasing something very cool at midnight tonight.  I can't say what it is, but if you're up late, you're in for a treat.  We will have full coverage on it in the morning.