Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell showed why he’s been one of the best first-year players, scoring a game-high 34 points to lead the Jazz to a 120-105 victory over the Kings on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.
Rodney Hood scored 25 points for the Jazz (18-26), who shot 56.8 percent for the game.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings (13-31), who have lost six in a row and nine of their last 10. Bogdan Bogdanovic had a career-high 25 points, making all six of his 3-pointers.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
The mistakes add up
The Kings had at least 15 turnovers for the sixth consecutive game, finishing with 19 against the Jazz.
Turnovers are a big reason why the Kings trailed most of the game, even though they shot 52.8 percent, including 61.9 percent from 3-point range.
The miscues have been attributed to an emphasis on playing at a faster pace and having to make quicker decisions.
The Kings are 5-18 when committing 15 or more turnovers.
Earned, not given
For those who thought the Kings going with a younger rotation meant all the players with up to three years of experience would just be given playing time, that’s not the case.
Rookie forward Justin Jackson played 12 minutes and second-year guard Malachi Richardson eight. Second-year center Georgios Papagiannis played two minutes.
It’s too easy
The Kings have struggled with perimeter defense this season and more problems were to be expected with their best perimeter defender, Garrett Temple, sitting out.
But a play in the third quarter illustrated how it can be easy to score on the Kings.
Mitchell split an attempted double team by Buddy Hield and Kosta Koufos, then drove down the lane as Zach Randolph and De’Aaron Fox watched Mitchell throw down a powerful dunk.
The defense was reminiscent of many of their breakdowns in communication this season.
The play left the Kings walking to the huddle for a timeout trying to figure out exactly what happened.