In a game between the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings you knew there was going to be some fireworks. DeMarcus Cousins, who has made a living against our squad, was going to personally challenge Rudy Gobert and the Jazz inside. With no Darren Collison or Rudy Gay it had to be him, and his 26 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and .500 shooting did not make up for his 8 turn overs. Utah seems to get his goat, and it didn't matter if it was Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Trevor Booker, Jack Cooley, or even Jeremy Evans . . . Cousins got his, but didn't really help elevate the rest of his team. And predictably, his team lost. The Jazz didn't win the way you think that would. Favors didn't play in the fourth and finished with only 16 minutes on the floor, and Gordon Hayward was benched after going 2/11 in 20 minutes. I had the Kings feed so I don't know if they were hurt, but in a game bereft of these two guys how did the Jazz pull of a 101-95 victory on the road? Oh, it must have been Trey Burke and Alec Burks then, right? Nope. Both those guys were injured.
No, Hood. Rodney Hood. He did it all, and had a career night with 25 points (a career high), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. He finally was allowed by the NBA to get to the free throw line and he went 6/7 from the stripe. Down the stretch he had the ball in his hands while the Jazz leaders Hayward and Favors sat. And really, it was a remarkable performance, worthy of his own band of merry men.
Little Rudy Gobert had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. Friar Trevor Booker hustled his way to 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. Dante Exum, Hood's Will Scarlet, added 8 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists, and made two threes. Joe Ingles -a-dale dropped big threes off the bench. Even guys like Bryce Cotton and Jack Cooley got into it.
The Kings didn't want to go down easy, as their two technical fouls suggest. Sacramento got strong performances from Cousins and Ben McLemore, but barely anything from Nik Stauskas on his very own Sauce Castillo night. In the game preview we figured out that Sac was a three person team, playing without two of their players. They made it an earned road win for the Jazz though. Personally, no Sim Bhullar is a shame, but maybe he gets to play sometime this week before his 10 day contract expires.
Utah gutted out a win without Gordon, Derrick, Trey, or Alec playing a big role. Quin Snyder trusted in Rodney Hood and let him do it all. I guess I need to wear this Duke sweatshirt during more Jazz games . . . whatever it was, Hood was awesome. And on a night when a win at times looked doubtful he got it done.
Also, this happened:
Thanks to Spencer Campbell for the Vines -- follow him @SCampbellSBN !
The Jazz got a solid road win against an angry team. They play them again on Wednesday. The Kings play the day before against Minny though, so THAT game will be the 2nd night of a back to back for the Kings.