Kings Speech: Game 51 vs. Utah Jazz

Tyreke Evans drives against the Utah Jazz. (Photo: Steven Chea)

The Sacramento Kings play their first game at home in two weeks when they host the Utah Jazz tonight at Sleep Train Arena.  The Kings last outing was against this same Utah team, who beat them 98-91 in the final contest of a season-long six-game road trip.

Tonight is about the fans.  They’ve dubbed this game “Here We Buy Night” and made a major push to fill up Sleep Train Arena to send a message to the NBA about Sacramento’s unwavering support of the Kings.  Players and coaches are well aware of the fans’ efforts and are looking forward to playing in front of a packed house.  Kings coach Keith Smart noted that Sacramento is unlike any other NBA city he’s coached in because of its communal atmosphere.

As we move throughout the community – going to the grocery store, the gas station – you know people will see us from time to time and they’ll come right up and say “we like what you guys are trying to do”, “we know where your team is” and stuff like that.  And of course, you always have the other part to it – all you can focus on is today and that’s what we do.  The fans have been great from that standpoint.

As far as action on the floor, the Kings defensively may want to key in on Alec Burks.  The sophomore guard came off the bench Monday to score 10 of his 14 points in the second half.  With Utah lacking depth in the backcourt due to injury, Burks’ number may be called again tonight.  Tyreke Evans credited what he saw out of the second-year guard as well as the Jazz’s other weapons.

He hit some big shots.  Coach told us to just stunt at him a little bit, see if he (misses) a few.  Because Foye was really hot – he’s a really hot shooter – and Marvin Williams was knocking down shots too.  So we just kind of let them shoot a few open shots and he knocked them down.  So coming Saturday, we gotta be aware of that.

Tip-off between the Kings and Jazz is set for 7 pm at Sleep Train Arena.  Follow Cowbell Kingdom for continued pre and postgame coverage throughout the day.

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