Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/24/12
SALT LAKE CITY -- This bench thing seems to be working out for Gordon Hayward. Hayward hit a game-winning jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining as the Utah Jazz rallied to beat the Sacramento Kings 104-102 Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena. In improving to 7-6 overall, the Jazz used a late 17-2 run to overcome a Sacramento team that led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter. "I thought we won with a lot of grit, gut, staying together," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. Hayward led all scorers with 23 points off the bench on 7-for-16 shooting, including that go-ahead jumper from the top of the key in the final moments. The third-year swingman scored 15 points in each of his two previous games after being reassigned to a reserve role. "The Kings have a lot of talent on their team and they can really score the basketball. They were able to knock down some shots and we let them hang around too long," said Hayward, who started the first 10 games this season. "We were fortunate to pick up the win." James Johnson missed a runner in the lane at the buzzer for the Kings, who fell to 0-5 on the road and 3-9 overall despite leading for most of the night. Marvin Williams scored 20 points, Al Jefferson added 17 points with eight rebounds and Derrick Favors contributed a huge effort off the bench with 16 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Jazz. The Jazz fell behind by 12 points after Marcus Thornton (18 points) scored midway through the fourth quarter, putting the Kings up 97-85. Utah then staged a big late-game comeback, outscoring Sacramento 17-2 to take a three-point lead with just under a minute to go. Thornton tied the contest back up at 102-102 with a 3-pointer, but the Jazz defense stiffened up down the stretch. Jamaal Tinsley made a key defensive play, stealing the ball from Kings guard Aaron Brooks with 12 seconds left to give Utah a final chance to break the tie. Filling in for injured Jazz starting point guard Mo Williams, Tinsley (11 assists) connected with Hayward, who hit the clutch shot. "We turned the ball over, 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 here that often," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "The game got away from us, and then we dropped the game." The Jazz lost Williams in the first half with a sprained right ankle. He rolled the ankle and left to get his ankle retaped. Williams tried to return, but his comeback was cut short and he was ruled out with 8:41 in the second quarter. Tinsley came in for Williams and helped spark a Jazz rally. Utah also saw the return of reserve point guard Earl Watson, who made his season debut in the second quarter. Watson hadn't played since last April when he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus right knee. Even after Corbin adjusted his starting lineup in hopes of reversing a trend of slow starts -- Marvin Williams replaced Derrick Favors -- Utah trailed 9-4 out of the gate. It wasn't just a rough start, either. The Kings went ahead by as many as 10 points on multiple occasions before the Jazz chipped the lead down to 53-52 at halftime. The Kings, two days after their big win over the Los Angeles Lakers, were boosted by a strong first half from Tyreke Evans (12 of his team-high 19 points) and Brooks (10 of his 17 points). Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette, some 45 miles north of his college town, also gave Sacramento a spark off the bench. Receiving a mixture of boos (from University of Utah fans) and cheers (from BYU supporters) every time he touched the ball, Fredette hit two 3-pointers and scored seven first-half points in a longer-than-usual nine-minute stint. Fredette finished with 10 points in 17 minutes. "It just crumbled for us a little bit," said Fredette of the Kings, who were outscored 31-22 in the fourth quarter. "We weren't making shots at the end or executing as well as we should have. They shot well, made shots down the end and played good defense." NOTES: In a rare home-and-away scheduling quirk, the Kings and Jazz play Saturday night in Sacramento. ... Mo Williams said he is unsure whether or not he'll be able to play Saturday night. ... The two teams split their 2011-12 series 2-2, with three games being decided by three or fewer points. ... Utah plays four of its next five on the road. ... Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin played for both Utah and Sacramento during his 16-year NBA career.
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