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Kings 97, Jazz 103: A Close One in Utah

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Sacramento fought until the end, but Rudy Gobert prevailed.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Well the Kings couldn’t come up clutch this time, thanks to the play of Rudy Gobert. Still though, that was a fun loss. Breathe pro-tankers.

Sacramento started the first quarter on fire, led by the play of Bogdan Bogdanovic who was making everything he shot. The Kings took leads of 15-8 and 18-10, but then it happened. By it, I mean the Utah Jazz went on a 15-0 run to take a 25-18 lead. The quarter would end at a score of 32-27, with Frank Mason making a buzzer beating three. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had nine points each for Utah.

Frank Mason opened his second quarter by taking and making a three to take a 33-32 lead. JaKaar Sampson was disruptive on defense as well, but no surprise there. A tough De’Aaron Fox putback off his own miss would take the Kings up 42-35, but since it didn’t count, Garrett Temple nailed a three to cap off a 10-0 run. The Jazz fought back in the game but saw themselves trailing 54-50. The Kings struggled to play consistent, but got the job done in the first half. And sheesh, Skal was awful in this quarter.

In the third quarter, the Kings were off. Frustrating plays on both sides of the ball was a common theme in the quarter. They went down 73-63 at one point, but Buddy Hield came in the game and scored back-to-back three pointers to make it 76-72. The Kings then came alive late in the fourth, as a Kosta Koufos lay-up was called for goaltending, which would end the quarter at 80-79.

One question from the game: Why do the Kings keep challenging Rudy Gobert? The outside shots have been working but Bogdan went at Gobert and got blocked. The Jazz simply executed better en route to the 103-97 win.

Best Performers

Buddy Hield: In a back-to-back game, Buddy Hield had two back-to-back brilliant performances. He led the way in yesterday’s win and did so again today, even in a loss. He scored 23 points on 9/15 shooting (5/8 from three) and also had six assists and six rebounds in 28 minutes.

Garrett Temple: The veteran came off the bench and provided some much needed scoring. He garnered 11 points in 24 minutes on 4/7 shooting, 3/3 from deep.

Frank Mason III: I really enjoyed watching Frank today. He only played 20 minutes, but scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds. He was 3/7 overall, 23 from three.

Notable Performers

Bogdan Bogdanovic: He started off on fire with nine points on 4/5 shooting, but completely disappeared after. He finished with 12 points, leading the starters in scoring, but was 5/17 from the field with two assists and one rebound.

De’Aaron Fox: Fox made some notable plays, but didn’t have the best shooting performance. He was 4/13 from the field and scored 11 points. He also had two assists and four rebounds.

JaKarr Sampson: The energizer scored six points and swatted three shots in 22 minutes. He also made his only three point attempt. Fun plays, again.

Notable Stats

Shooting: Jazz shot 45%, Kings shot 43%. The three ball was something else for Sacramento. They were 14/21 from three, compared to Utah’s 6/24. Here’s what ruined Sacramento: free-throws. Kings only made nine free throws, compared to Utah’s 31.

Non-shooting: Utah won the rebound battle 48-33 and the block battle 8-5. Sacramento won the assist battle 23-21 and the steal battle 11-8.

The Nasty Stats: The Jazz had more turnovers (15-13), but the Kings just had too many fouls (30-13). Wow.

Quick Takeaways

Off a back-to-back against a very good and healthy Utah team, the Kings fought to the end again. If you lose, do it this way.

Donovan Mitchell is a gem. The 13th overall pick went off for 28 in 39 minutes.

The Kings starters combined for 41 points. Uhh, that’s not acceptable.

Next Game

The Kings commence a six-game home stretch against the Detroit Pistons on Monday at 7:00 PM PST.

The Game in One Sentence

Buddy displayed more than just good shooting tonight, as those six assists should not be overlooked.