NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 27th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (15-28) at Utah Jazz (15-29), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings look to snap out of their recent funk when they visit the Utah Jazz Monday in Salt Lake City.
The Kings have dropped three in a row and five of their last six games, and have been toiling without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay the past two games. Cousins is hampered by an ankle injury and is day-to-day, while Gay has also been sidelined the previous two contests and could miss up to two weeks.
The losing trend continued with Sunday's 125-117 loss versus Denver, as Isaiah Thomas led the way with 22 points, Marcus Thornton netted 19 and rookie Ben McLemore chipped in 18 off the bench. Jason Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Derrick Williams collected 12 points and eight boards for Sacramento, which shot 51.9 percent and still lost.
"I played with a lot of confidence out there, but at the end of the day we came up short," McLemore said.
The Kings seem to have lost their confidence collectively and trailed 118-113 with less than two minutes to go. The Nuggets then made three of their next four foul shots to push the lead to eight at 121-113. The 125 points scored by Denver was a season-high for Sacramento opponents.
Thomas has started the last 24 games for the Kings and is averaging 21.5 ppg in that time. He has made at least one 3-pointer in each of the last 37 games, just behind Mitch Richmond's team mark of 39 games.
Sacramento is 6-13 away from home this season.
Meanwhile, the Jazz ended a two-game slide with Saturday's 104-101 victory over the Washington Wizards to even their mark to 1-1 on a four-game homestand.
Enes Kanter had 24 points, Gordon Hayward added 16 and Alec Burks contributed 15 in the win. Derrick Favors posted a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz, who shot 46.9 percent and improved to 9-12 at home. Trey Burke finished with 12 points and eight assists.
The Jazz were able to slow down Wizards star John Wall, who ended with 13 points and missed a last-second shot at the end.
"I thought Trey and the guys playing him made him work for everything he got." Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of Wall. "He had some good looks, but they made him work the whole night. He's a tough player and he is a really good player in this league. For our young guys, especially Trey, to see the different talent you have to play on a nightly basis and the adjustments you have to make especially on the defensive end and then offense will come from there. I thought he did a good job of making him work."
Utah will wrap up the homestand Friday versus Golden State and has split two meetings with Sacramento this season with each team prevailing on the road. The Kings have dropped 10 of their last 13 games in Salt Lake City.
01/27 19:46:48 ET