Game 50 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz
Gametime: 6:00 pm PT
Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT.
The book on the Jazz: Utah is trucking along quite nicely this 2012-13 season. They’re only four games over .500, but they’ve been on a roll lately. In their last 10 outings, the Jazz have posted a 7-3 record, which has included wins over the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. If the playoffs started today, Utah would hold the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
Did you know? The Jazz lead the league this season in most comeback wins after trailing at least 10 points, winning 11 games in such scenarios. One of those wins came against the Kings, who led by as many 13 in a Nov. 23, 2012 loss to the Jazz.
Status Updates: James Johnson sat out Saturday’s game with a sinus infection. It is not known yet whether he will suit up to play.
Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (17-32)
Utah Jazz Probable Starters (26-22)
- Points Per Game: 102.5
- Offensive Rating: 100
- Opponents Points Per Game: 102.1
- Defensive Rating: 108.2
- Pace: 95.01
- Points Per Game: 98
- Offensive Rating: 103.3
- Opponents Points Per Game: 98.1
- Defensive Rating: 104.7
- Pace: 93.84
Three questions to ponder
1. How many players will Keith Smart use in the first half alone?
In Saturday’s embarrassing defeat to the New York Knicks, the Kings coach once again played to the match-ups. With Carmelo Anthony starting for the Knicks at power forward, Smart benched Jason Thompson for the first time this season in favor of Francisco Garcia. The strategy seemed to work for the first six minutes until Amar’e Stoudemire came off New York’s bench to change the complexion of the game. Within the first 20 minutes, the Kings head coach had played 10 different players who couldn’t find an answer to the Knicks’ punishing run.
2. Will Randy Foye have a field day against the Kings?
For some reason over the last two years, the Jazz guard has played some of his best basketball against the Kings. While playing for the Clippers last season, Foye scored a game-high 20 points in a Apr. 5 win over the Kings. When the Kings and Jazz met last time around, Foye scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half. Foye also made Sacramento pay from long range, making 4-of-6 attempts from 3-point territory. The Kings can’t afford to underestimate anybody at this point in the season.
3. Will we see another close margin of victory?
Maybe it’s the DeMarcus Cousins/Derrick Favors match-up or something else, but these two teams always seem to play some exciting games against each other. In fact, four of the last six meetings between these two teams have have been decided by three points or less. Counting last year, the victories are split right down the middle with the Kings taking three of the last six match-ups.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
Tags Al Jefferson.Chuck HayesDeMarcus CousinsDerrick FavorsEnes KanterFrancisco GarciaIsaiah ThomasJamaal TinsleyJames JohnsonJason ThompsonJimmer FredetteJohn SalmonsKeith SmartMarvin WilliamsPaul MillsapRandy FoyeSacramento KingsThomas RobinsonTravis OutlawTyreke EvansTyrone Corbin