They battled and rallied, keeping it a close game for most of the night, until the final minutes when they just couldn’t execute down the stretch.
A Richaun Holmes floater tied the game up with 4:26 left in the game at 104, but from that point on, the Kings’ offense ground to a halt and let the game ultimately get out of reach.
Sacramento fought back to make it a 115-113 game with 23.6 seconds left, but even at that point, the Jazz still felt like they just weren’t going to squander this one.
The Utah backcourt of Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell cooked Sacramento all night, splashing threes and using Rudy Gobert screens to penetrate the paint. Mitchell finished with 36 points and Conley finished with 30 and both hit several big buckets to ultimately close the Kings out.
Another major reason Utah came out victorious was its utter domination on the glass. The Jazz pulled down 59 rebounds compared to the Kings' 38 rebounds. On too many occasions, the Kings made stops on defense but weren’t able to close the position out with a rebound.
Ultimately, the Jazz are a better team and will compete for the one seed in the west, but still, the Kings lost another close one that they had a chance to steal.
De’Aaron Fox continued his horrid shot to the season, shooting just 4 for 15 from the floor and 0 for 4 from three while scoring just 13 points. In the first half, Fox didn’t record a single point, going 0 for 8.
It’s a shame that Fox has struggled so mightily this season because the Kings have been competitive in every game and might have a better record at this point in the season than 3-4, had he played up to his ability.
Harrison Barnes continued to be a positive for Sacramento, finishing with 23 points on 7 of 14 from the field.
Another bright spot for the Kings was the performance of rookie Davion Mitchell, who had the second-best offensive game of his young career, finishing with 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting.
Hopefully, the Kings still have their legs under them after tonight’s contest, because they will have a quick turnaround, facing the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow night at the Golden 1 Center.