Jazz-Kings Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 24, 2012
An impressive fourth-quarter run against the Sacramento Kings helped the Utah Jazz remain undefeated at home. Now, the Jazz will try to extend their season-high three-game winning streak with a home-and-home sweep Saturday night. Down by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, Utah (7-6) rallied for a 104-102 victory as Gordon Hayward's 22-foot jumper with 4.5 seconds left was the difference. He finished with a team-high 23 points. "We turned the ball over (13 times), unfinished plays, everything we had done to get in that position on the road, in this building against a good team where you don't win that often,'' Kings coach Keith Smart told the league's official website after his team fell to 0-5 on the road. "Too much one-on-one and it cost us the game.'' The Jazz, meanwhile, improved to 5-0 at home and moved above the break-even point for the first time since an opening night win over Dallas. "I thought we won with a lot of grit, gut, staying together,'' coach Tyrone Corbin said. The Jazz may need that type of effort again considering close finishes between these teams have become common. They split four contests last season, with the games decided by a total of 12 points. In their last visit to Sacramento on March 22, the Jazz won 103-102 as Al Jefferson delivered the game-winner with 0.9 seconds left. Utah goes for its first back-to-back road wins since that contest. A victory would also give the Jazz their first 4-0 run since finishing 2011-12 on a five-game surge. Losers of six of seven, the Kings (3-9) will try to prevent that from happening as they open a stretch of five of six at home. They'll try to win two straight at home after ending a four-game skid there with Wednesday's 113-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Sacramento made a season-best 10 3-pointers on Friday as Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette each hit three, but it needs to improve on the glass after pulling down a season-low 31 boards to Utah's 43. DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds in the loss, while Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors totaled 65 points and 27 boards. If Jazz point guard Mo Williams can't go after spraining his ankle Friday, Jamaal Tinsley will likely step in. The veteran grabbed six rebounds, handed out 12 assists and stole the ball from Brooks with 14.9 seconds left to help set up Hayward's final shot. Utah backup Earl Watson could also see more action after totaling two assists and two rebounds in nine minutes Friday. It was his first appearance of 2012-13 after undergoing season-ending knee surgery in April.
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