CK Press Box Report: Jazz 101, Kings 95

By James Ham and Rui Thomas

Exum-Dwill-BadDefense

If you love sloppy basketball, tonight was a treat. The Sacramento Kings (26-50) compounded mistake after mistake to throw a winnable game, losing to the Utah Jazz (35-42) by a final score of 101-95.

“Statistically, we’re just cheating the game to the point where it’s going to be tough to win if we continue to hurt ourselves with our decision-making and our inability to rebound the ball at times,” George Karl told the media after the match.

The Kings shot 48.1 percent from the field and scored 24 second chance points. They also lost 20 turnovers, missed 10 of 24 free throws, and allowed Utah to pull down 14 offensive boards and score 20 second chance points of their own. The Jazz committed 20 turnovers themselves but outran the Kings 24-13 in fast break points.

With Sacramento down one at the 8:35 mark in the fourth quarter, the Jazz went on a 14-2 run and never looked back. The ugly stretch for the Kings featured technical and offensive fouls and missed layups.

“You can’t have 34 extra possessions for the other team,” Karl emphasized. “Utah’s not a great offensive team, but we gave them enough possessions that they scored 100 points. They never should’ve scored 100 points. They did because our defense had its flaws at times, but more than anything, our offense created bad defense too.”

DeMarcus Cousins was a force once again with 26 points and 12 rebounds, but he was responsible for eight turnovers. Ben McLemore had a nice showing with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Omri Casspi chipped in 14 points and five rebounds.

Rookie Rodney Hood led the Jazz with a career-high 25 points. Rudy Golbert produced 10 points and nine rebounds and Derrick Favors added 11 points and five boards.

The Kings have now lost five straight and fall to 8-16 under coach Karl. Sacramento hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-60) on Tuesday before embarking on a three-game road trip.

Notes and Analysis

  • DeMarcus Cousins didn’t notch his third straight triple-double, but he played well in the loss.  The Kings’ All-Star center finished the game with 26 points, 12 rebounds and four assists on the night, adding his 47th double-double of the season.  On the downside, Cousins picked up his 14th technical foul of the season and added eight turnovers.
  • Ben McLemore played inspired, but sloppy ball tonight for coach Karl.  The second-year shooting guard scored 20 points, grabbed five rebounds, handed out four assists and collected four steals in 38 minutes of action.  His defense was spectacular, but if he continues to drop easy passes under the basket, his teammates are going to stop feeding him.
  • Omri Casspi continues to fill in nicely for the concussed Rudy Gay.  Not only did he score 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting, but the speedy wing held Gordon Hayward in check.  The Jazz’s leading scorer finished the night with five points on 2-for-11 shooting in 20 minutes.
  • Derrick Williams is an enigma.  The former second overall selection scored nine points on 4-for-7 shooting, but failed to produce anything else for his team.  You almost have to try to not grab a single rebound or pick up a single assist in 26 minutes of NBA action.
  • Ray McCallum continued his solid play.  When his shot isn’t falling, like tonight (3-of-10), he finds ways to help his team.  The sophomore guard scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and three steals, and handed out a team-high seven assists in the loss.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings look to run every chance they get.  Tonight it was the Utah Jazz who led the way with 24 fast break points.  The Kings’ 20 turnovers on the night might have something to do with that number.  

Quote of the Game

George Karl on the Kings’ lack of rebounding

“You shouldn’t be playing 20 minutes a night and not getting a rebound. A coke machine can get a rebound in 20 minutes.”

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