Kings Starters: Fox, Hill, Bogdanovic, Randolph, Cauley-Stein
The Kings began the second game of their extended youth movement with George Hill and Zach Randolph in the starting lineup, so if you were expecting a quick start, or to hear about a faster paced game, well, three minutes into the game and the only two players to score were De’Aaron Fox and Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell. Most of the first quarter was disjointed and sloppy basketball and at the halfway point, the two teams combined for just 15 points. The Jazz started the game 0-7 from three and 33% from the field in general and by 4:15 left in the quarter, the Kings had gone on a 9-2 run to make it 18-8. The Kings realizing that they’re still in fact the Kings, immediately followed that up by giving the Jazz their first three, then turning it over to watch a very nice Donovan Mitchell windmill dunk. The Jazz closed the distance on a run of their own (on the back of some sloppy turnovers from Sacramento) outscoring the Kings 15-3 and closed the first quarter with a Rodney Hood three pointer to put the Jazz up 23-21.
First Quarter Tidbits:
The Kings had six turnovers in the first quarter.
Ricky Rubio is a treasure, but this season has been a bad one for him. The guy played this first quarter like he had greasy fingers.
I’m sick, and yet I blame the game for this stomach pain and stinging behind my eyes. Will’s Rating: 4 sips of Pepto.
Justin Jackson, Malachi Richardson, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox came out with Kosta Koufos for the start of the second quarter and it was Buddy who kicked off the second quarter with five straight points to take the lead back for the Kings. The Kings seemed primed and ready to take off on a run against a Jazz team that was half-way to hypnotized, but turnovers and generally sloppy play kept momentum completely at bay. At 7:30 left in the half, Bogdan hit a nice jumper and a free throw after a bump to cut a Jazz lead to just a bucket at 32-30 and Zach Randolph checked in a minute later then immediately hit a three pointer for his first points of the game. Grant pointed out the large problem in this game; at the 4:30 mark of the game, the Kings had 7 assists and 8 turnovers. A Joe Ingles three pointer gave the Jazz their largest lead of the game at 44-35 with a couple ticks more than three minutes to play, but it was immediately answered by a Bogi three of his own. This was the whole first half in a nutshell: Kings give up a couple buckets, but stop a major run. Sacramento begins to climb back into it and then give up the ball or take some booboo shots which is followed by the the Kings giving up a couple of buckets. The Kings found themselves down ten at halftime 52-42.
Second Quarter/First Half Tidbits:
Bogdan had himself a really solid first half, leading the team in points and rebounds at 11 & 5 while also going 3-5 from deep.
Justin Jackson attempted a 26 footer early in the second quarter ... and airballed it in rather spectacular fashion. OOF.
This was George Hill’s first game against his old team and he used his ability to turn invisible to get himself 7 points and 4 rebounds in the first half.
The Jazz bench scored 23 of their 52 first half points.
Will’s Rating: Ice chips applied directly to the eyes.
The Utah Jazz came into the third and picked up where they left off with Joe Ingles and Jonas Jerekbo hitting corner threes while the Kings settled for tossing turnovers on the other end of the court. 10:41 in the game and Dave Joerger signaled for a timeout with the Kings now down 15 at 58-43. If the Jazz go up by more than 25 in this game, I’m going to just start writing a short story based around Jerry Reynolds as a neo-noir detective who spouts old-timey phrases. For a team that is 12th in the league in turnovers, averaging 14.4 a game, the Kings made turning the ball over look so easy, with 14 at 8:49 left in the third. Just 19 seconds later Joe Ingles hit his fourth three pointer to put the Jazz up 20 points and while answered immediately with a Kings three, the Jazz never let Sacramento wrest control of the game back, answering just about every Kings bucket with one of their own, and usually without a single Kings defender around them. With 6:30 left in the third quarter, the Jazz had already accounted for ELEVEN STEALS and played defense like they wanted 20 by the end of the night. The Kings went on a little run to get it to 12 with 3:32 left; George Hill hit a three and a couple of free throws, Kosta Koufos hit the shot you imagine him hitting whenever you think of Kosta Koufos hitting a shot. Out of a Jazz timeout, Rodney Hood immediately hit a three and on the subsequent possession hit an And-1 and a free throw, getting De’Aaron Fox his fourth foul of the game in the process. The score heading into the fourth was 88-73.
Third Quarter Tidbits:
Donovan Mitchell is a ton of fun when he gets a window near the bucket. Every dunk of his is a highlight real dunk. He had 22 points on 10-13 shooting through 3 quarters.
The Jazz had themselves a 36 point third quarter.
Will’s Rating: Appendectomy with a used spork.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. By 10:20 left in the game, Rodney Hood already had 21 points off the bench on fantastic shooting and looked like the second best player on the court. I haven’t talked about him much, but Willie Cauley-Stein quietly had himself a good game. The ball stuck in his hands a bit too much at times, but I blame that on the guards giving it to him in those positions as much as I blame him. Willie ended up with a season high in points with 26 to go along with 8 rebounds. Bogdan was the man tonight all night for the Kings and a three pointer followed up by a nifty scoop layup in traffic gave the Kings some life with 8:16 left to play and the Jazz lead down to 12. Inspired by one rookie shooting guards run, Donovan Mitchell provided six straight points for the Jazz to push the lead back out of arms reach. The lead stretched back out to 20 with half the quarter gone. But by 4:23 the Kings had cut it back to 14, forcing Quin Snyder to stop plotting how to destroy the Justice League and instead, call a time out to calm his team down. Here’s a microcosm of the entire night: the Kings cut it all the way down to 12, but Donovan Mitchell smacked a desperate deep rainbow three pointer off the glass and in the hoop to push the game yet again out of reach. The last two minutes saw Papagiannis, so, yeah I don’t have to tell you anything more. Final score is at the top, Kings record near the bottom.
Fourth Quarter/ Second Half Tidbits:
De’Aaron Fox struggled defensively all night and a constant foul trouble really kept him from being productive. Fox fouled out with two minutes left in the game.
The Jazz score basically 100 points a game, and ended tonight with 120.
Bogi ended the game with a career high 25 points and 6-6 from three point land.
Donovan Mitchell ended up with 34 points on 14-19 shooting. Kid is good.
Will’s Rating: Die, Go to the Medium Place, Luka Doncic gets drafted by the Kings but has a Brandon Roy career trajectory.
The Kings are bad.
The Jazz are less bad.
The draft is 154 days away.