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Kings get dominated in second half, lose to Jazz

Sacramento hung with the best team in the NBA, but couldn’t come up with a win in Utah.

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings gave everything they had for 42 minutes against the team with the best record in the NBA, but came apart late in the game.

Donovan Mitchell had 42 points, while Mike Conley chipped in with 23 leading the Utah Jazz to a 128-112 win over the Kings.

De’Aaron Fox had 30 points and eight assists to lead Sacramento, which has now lost its last six games.

The Kings did everything right for most of the contest, but couldn’t keep up with the Jazz over the final six minutes. Veteran Harrison Barnes’ dunk gave Sacramento a 105-104 lead midway through the final quarter, but it was all Utah from there.

Mitchell and Conley combined for 18 points during the last 6:05 seconds, helping the Jazz go on a 24-12 run to finish the game.

Sacramento played well in the first half. Barnes and Richaun Holmes combined for 39 points. leading the Kings to a 65-59 lead at the break.

But Utah controlled the final 24 minutes, outscoring Sacramento by 23 in the second half. The Jazz also dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Kings 52-38.. Utah was also the more aggressive squad. Mitchell shot 17 free throws, just five less than Sacramento did as a team.

The loss further hurts the Kings’s playoff chances, but they can hopefully get some momentum after competing with the best team in the NBA.

Head coach Luke Walton tinkered with his rotation and rode his starters throughout the game. Maurice Harkless started and played 31 minutes, the least of any starter. Although Sacramento came up short, it was a strong effort from the group. Walton will likely give his best players more minutes over the stretch drive of the season.

The Kings have another big game coming up. They’ll visit Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.