(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz are coming off a rare loss in the new year,
but will try to get back in the groove when they pay a visit to the Sacramento
Kings Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.
The Jazz dropped a 93-89 decision to former employee Carlos Boozer and the
Chicago Bulls Friday in the finale of a three-game homestand. Boozer scored 11
straight points during the fourth quarter to send his former team packing with
a loss for just the sixth time since the calendar turned (13-6).
Utah big man Al Jefferson had a game-high and season-best 32 points and 13
rebounds for the Jazz, who lost to an Eastern Conference opponent at home for
just the second time in the last season and a half and went 2-1 on the
residency. The Jazz had won four in a row in Salt Lake City.
"I think we did for the most part, we had a chance to win," said Jefferson.
"Things just didn't go our way in the end."
The Jazz held the Bulls to 11 points in the third quarter, only after allowing
58 in the first half. They have dropped two in a row and three of four road
games, and own a 9-17 record as the visitor this season.
Sacramento has to be pleased that it is back in California's capital city
after a dreadful six-game road trip (1-5).
The well-rested Kings lost the last four contests on the road swing, including
Monday's 98-91 overtime loss to Saturday's opponent, the Jazz. Utah outscored
the Kings, 14-7, in the extra session and took advantage with DeMarcus Cousins
out of the game because of two technical fouls.
Cousins was slapped with his second technical foul before halftime and was
ejected for the second time this season, both against Utah. He leads the NBA
with 12 T's on the season.
"(The referees) tell us if you have a problem with them, come talk to them,"
Cousins said of the ejection. "I waited until halftime. He said the same thing
he was saying, 'Don't talk to me.' So my response was, 'You don't have to act
like an effing female.' I shouldn't have said that. That's about it."
Jason Thompson paced Sacramento with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Tyreke
Evans had 20 points for the Kings, who lost for the eighth time in the
previous nine tries. Sacramento shot 40.2 percent, including a mere 3-of-20
from behind the arc.
Evans averaged 17.2 ppg on the road trip.
The Kings will also host Houston and are 12-12 at home this season.
Sacramento is just 1-2 against Utah this season and has dropped seven of the
past 11 meetings between the teams. The two squads have split the last eight
encounters in California.
The Sports Network