The Sacramento Kings (27-51) limped into Utah tonight to face the Jazz (36-42) without the services of DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay or Nik Stauskas. They hung around for three quarters, but fell apart in the fourth, losing to the Jazz by a final of 103-91.
Omri Casspi continued his strong play, finishing with 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Jason Thompson started in the middle and dropped in a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. Carl Landry added 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and Ben McLemore chipped in 16 in the loss.
Join James Ham and Rui Thomas for the Road Reaction Postgame Show on Google+ after the game. The show can be watched on the video player embedded below. You can also join the discussion of tonight’s game by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.
What to watch
1. Second chances
In their home loss to the Jazz on Sunday, the Kings handed Utah 34 extra possessions by turnovers and offensive rebounds. With DeMarcus Cousins out (sore right foot), Sacramento needs its bigs to muscle up against Utah’s burly frontcourt and its backcourt to avoid forcing passes in traffic.
2. Focus on the line
The Kings still lead the NBA in free throw attempts per contest with 28.9, but their aim has recently taken a nosedive. Sacramento has shot 61.9 percent in their last six contests, which includes a 14-for-24 effort against Utah on Sunday. Fatigue plays a factor this late in the season but throwing away points remains painful.
3. Clamping down
The last four games, the Kings allowed an opposing shooting guard to net over 20 points. Teams shot 43 percent from behind the arc in that span. It’s easy to blame the young backcourt, but all Sacramento players are responsible for closing out and being aware of the situation.