Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ 133-112 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Golden 1 Center:
Bogdanovic gets the start
Iman Shumpert has been the Kings’ starter at small forward. However, with the veteran inactive for the game, coach Dave Joerger gave Bogdan Bogdanovic his first start of the season.
Bogdanovic made three of his first four shots en route to a 20-point night that led the Kings. He hit all six of his free throws and finished with three rebounds and three assists.
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While his shooting percentage wasn’t spectacular (6 of 14, 42.9 percent), he logged a team-high 33 minutes and plays as though the knee injury that kept him out of the ’ first 10 regular-season games isn’t bothering him.
Rubio sets the tone
Jazz guard Ricky Rubio struggled with his shot when these teams met Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Rubio missed his first seven shots and went just 4 of 15 for 13 points.
Sunday was a much different story. He gave the Kings’ young point guards fits while scoring on layups and jumpers, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Rubio put up 23 points in the first half while shooting a blistering 83.3 percent (10 of 12). He made just one more basket but finished with a game-high 27 points on 11 of 16 from the field — not bad for a player who came into the game shooting 36.6 percent overall.
The point guard, in his eighth season, stepped up for a Jazz team playing without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell while helping Utah avenge a loss four days prior at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Kings and Jazz have met three times this season, with the road team winning every game. They’ll meet again April 5 in Salt Lake City.
Too much to overcome
The Kings opened the game on a 7-0 run. Unfortunately for them, it was their largest lead of the game.
Utah took control midway through the second quarter and never looked back, leading by as much as 28.
The Kings got to within four at 81-77 on a beautiful layup by Harry Giles III, but after he missed his next shot, a long jumper, the Jazz stepped on the accelerator and cruised to victory.