The Utah Jazz ended their preseason with a close loss to the Sacramento Kings, 116-113.
Behind 26 points from Talen Horton-Tucker and 24 points from Collin Sexton, the Jazz nearly powered their way past the hot-shooting Kings, but it wasn’t enough.
Speaking of Horton-Tucker, who has been in trade rumors this week, he started alongside Collin Sexton again as the Jazz had Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Kelly Olynyk resting this game. It’s the starting lineup that the Jazz used at the beginning of preseason but it’s unlikely they go with it when the season starts.
Having those rotation guys rest opened things up for more players to get time and helped in a lot of ways. The first was that we got extended minutes for Taylor Hendricks. A lot has been said about Hendricks not getting time on the floor, so it was interesting to get an extended look, and it looked pretty good! Hendricks still has a ways to go in terms of impacting the game, but he showed the things that make him an intriguing player, at least on the offensive end. This three in transition was really nice!
TAYLOR HENDRICKS 3 BALL— Jazz Lead (@JazzLead) October 20, 2023
He's looking a lot more comfortable and confident tonight. Great to see pic.twitter.com/rbq6TcZZvO
That said, Hendricks was just 2/9 from the field and 1/6 from three. With more time, he should be able to iron things out but it may be a lot of Stars assignments this season to help him get acclimated.
Keyonte George also got extended run and the shot wasn’t falling tonight. For the game, George shot just 2/12. Even with the tough shooting, he still played within the offense and moved the ball to his teammates in a nice way. It’s going to be a grind of a season for George and he’ll have to learn to fight through fatigue and tough nights like this as the season goes on, but that’s what happens with every rookie.
It was another game where Kris Dunn impacted everything in a big way. Dunn was 5/7 from the floor with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Everything he does seems to help the Jazz win. If the rumors are true, and THT is on the trade block, that should hopefully make room for Dunn to get more minutes. Everything is so much more under control when he’s on the floor. Sure, he has the limitation from the three-point line that defenses can exploit but he’s found ways around that and contributes in so many other ways. What an absolute find for the Jazz he has been.
Finally, Collin Sexton looked great tonight. His energy and talent were on full display with his 24 points on 11/16 shooting. Sexton looks primed and ready for the season in a great way. He’ll likely be in the sixth man role again this year and that’s totally fine. If he can find ways to score like he did tonight in 15-25 minutes a night he’ll be a big part of a Jazz winning season and a very possible 6MOY candidate.