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Utah Jazz defeat Sacramento Kings 106-99, climb up from 15th seed in Western Conference

The Utah Jazz went up big, but were brought down low by free throw woes. However, the Jazz survive and dethrone the Kings . . . . we're no longer the worst! But what cost?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
January Game Streams -- Sactown Royalty -- Kings vs Jazz coverage


It's a happy day in Utah Jazz land as we can say "we're not the worst" loud and clear. Well, unless we're talking about tanking, then in that case you could argue that we are the worst. The Sacramento Kings went into this game with a plan -- to lose it, and look like they were trying. The first thing they did was hold out their best bigman, and potential All-Star snub DeMarcus Cousins. (He'll be a snub, he won't get in. The reserves are made up of votes from coaches, and he's a coach killer. They have long memories.) Then the Kings kept out their second best player, Rudy Gay. Then they took out their third best player, Isaiah Thomas, out after 25 minutes of action. To make it look like they cared, Kings coach Mike Malone went into "Hack-a-Jazz" mode and send the Jazz to the free throw line for 20 shots in a row to end the game.

Of course, that actually reduced the lead in the game because the players going to the free throw line in that garbage time (The Jazz were up by 19 with 5:45 to go in the game) were: Rudy Gobert (1/3), Jeremy Evans (3/6), Enes Kanter (2/4), John Lucas III (2/4), and Diante Garrett (2/2).

EDIT: The play by play for the game has more accurate numbers than last night:

Aside from the obvious tank, and the very lugubrious finish (closer than the game actually was!) -- it was a good night for a few Jazz men out there.


Three Positives:

  1. The Jazz got the win, and more importantly won the season series against the Kings. So in the case of a tie at the end of the regular season the Jazz will end up with the higher seed for playoff seeding. Oh, it's not 1999 anymore? It's 2013? Okay, well, at least the home fans got to see a win. ESPN says attendance was 16,663
  2. Three Jazz players ended up with double doubles: Derrick Favors (28 minutes) finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds; Marvin Williams (25 minutes) finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds; and Jeremy Evans (20 minutes) finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
  3. Utah took advantage of a "hurt" team and beat up on them. Being up by 19 points with 5 minutes left, then pulling your team, shows that we are in a different class than the Kings, when they are playing without three starters.

Three Negatives:

  1. The Kings defense is just as bad as ours, however our full-strength team had a poor shooting night, going 32/80 is only 40.0 FG%. For this season the Jazz shoot 44.1 FG%. And defensively, the Kings allows 46.9 FG%. We should have done better here. Two guys who shot poorly, in particular, were Trey Burke (3/10) and Alec Burks (2/10). They have to be more consistent scorers if they want to actually be impact players in this league. Gordon Hayward shot poorly as well (4/13), but we're not allowed to be critical of him.
  2. You don't win a lot of games where you leave 18 points at the free throw line. Sure, the Jazz went to the strip 53 times tonight, but did their best blooper reel there. Too bad we don't have Jeff Hornacek as a shooting coach anymore . . .
  3. Didja watch the end of this game? Man . . .

The Jazz  have two more games this week, a back-to-back set on Friday / Saturday that's vs. the Golden State Warriors (Jerry Sloan banner night), and the next night @ the Los Angeles Clippers. Should be good!