Kings Blog

For Sacramento Kings, loss against Utah Jazz is a low note

There was no nice way to summarize getting blown out by the team with the worst record in the NBA

And no one from the Kings tried to do that after the Utah Jazz made dispensing of them look easy in a 122-101 romp Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The Jazz (5-19) posted a season high in points, topping its previous best by 10. It also was Utah’s biggest win of the season. The Jazz hadn’t even won by double digits this season, much less by 21.

Utah led by 28, its largest of lead of the season, nine more than its prior high. The Jazz had a season-high 35 assists. Utah’s previous best was 27, which the Jazz had through three quarters.

The Jazz also made a season-best 13 3-pointers, topping its prior best of 10, and never trailed in a game for the first time this season.

Utah shot 53.9 percent from the field and 56.5 percent from the 3-point line while committing a season-low eight turnovers.

It was only the fifth time this season the Jazz had shot at least 50 percent.

The Jazz broke a four-game losing streak and won on the road for just the second time this season.

The Kings (6-14), who had won their previous two games, reminded everyone why they are ahead of only the Jazz in the Western Conference standings, allowing a season high in points.

“I believe it was a terrible team effort all around from the players,” Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said. “We can’t continue to come out every night and make these same mistakes. It’s getting old.”

The Kings played with 10 players for the second consecutive game while awaiting approval to dress the three players acquired in Monday’s trade with Toronto.

Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray were in sweats watching the game near the Kings’ bench. They cannot play until the four players the Kings sent to Toronto pass their physicals.

The holdup was Greivis Vasquez, who did not arrive in Toronto until Wednesday. Vasquez had to go to New York to clear up issues with his work visa before joining the Raptors. Vasquez is expected to pass his physical and practice with the Raptors today, which would clear Gay, Acy and Gray to play Friday at Phoenix.

Kings coach Michael Malone said fatigue was not a reason for his team following perhaps its best win of the season Monday against Dallas with perhaps its worst effort of the season.

It’s hard to blame fatigue when the Kings looked slow from the opening tip.

“We were very, very flat,” Malone said.

Cousins echoed Malone’s sentiments.

“That’s not an excuse,” Cousins said. “The roster was thin against Dallas, and we probably played one of the best games of the season. That’s not an excuse ... that didn’t matter. We didn’t come out. We didn’t perform.”

The Kings hope Gay, Acy and Gray will be cleared to practice today before they leave for Phoenix. Having more players would help, but regardless of who’s in the lineup, the Kings’ defense needs to improve.

On-ball defense was the culprit again.

“Can’t contain the ball,” Malone said. “If you can’t contain the ball, the ball gets wherever it wants to on the court. You’re forced to help and they get drive-and-kick threes.”

Cousins only played seven minutes in the first half, all in the first quarter. Cousins picked up two fouls in the quarter but did not play at all in the second when the game began to get out of hand.

“They were small at that time, they only had one big in the game,” Malone said. “If we were going to put him back in the game the likelihood he was going to pick up his third foul right away.”

Cousins led the Kings with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and seven assists. Richard Jefferson led Utah with 20 points. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors each had 17 points for the Jazz.

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