Posted January 28, 2012 on
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While their offensive production leaves much to be desired, the Sacramento Kings' inability to slow opponents down seems to be of greater concern.
If their recent history when visiting Utah is any indication, the Kings could be in for another long night defending their end of the court.
Sacramento looks to avoid a fourth consecutive loss overall and an eighth defeat in nine road meetings with the Jazz on Saturday night.
Sitting in the Pacific Division basement, the Kings (6-13) are averaging a pedestrian 90.5 points per game. Their offensive woes, however, pale in comparison to their defensive struggles. Sacramento is allowing an NBA-worst average of 102.6 points.
The Kings' lack of defensive prowess was on display Wednesday in a 122-93 rout at home against Denver. The Nuggets shot 54.9 percent and scored 92 points in the paints - the most in any game since the NBA began keeping track of that statistic.
"We hadn't gotten beat like that at home this year," said rookie Jimmer Fredette, who made a scored 15 of his 19 points on a career-best five 3-pointers. " ... We have to have a short memory and get on to the next game, move forward."
After averaging just 6.9 points over his first 16 games, Fredette has averaged 17.3 in his last three. The 10th overall pick in June's draft could be primed for another inspired performance as he returns to Utah for the first time since graduating from BYU with a school-record 2,599 career points.
"It'll be fun to play in front of the hometown fans again that I played in front of for my college career," he told the Kings' official website. "I'm looking forward to it. It should be a fun atmosphere ... The most important thing is that we can go out and hopefully steal one on the road."
While Fredette went 4-0 as a starter at EnergySolutions Arena with the Cougars, helping Sacramento to a road win over the Jazz (10-7) could prove difficult. The Kings have been outscored by an average of 12.1 points while losing seven of their last eight trips to Utah.
Utah is trying to avoid a fourth loss in five games overall. Two nights after falling 111-106 to Toronto in double overtime, the Jazz lost 116-101 at Dallas on Friday. They couldn't slow down the Mavericks, who shot 54.9 percent from the field - the highest mark by any Utah opponent this season.
After sitting out versus the Raptors with an inflamed right ankle, Al Jefferson had 19 points Friday. Paul Millsap, averaging 22.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and shooting 57.4 percent over his last nine games, had 20 points and seven boards.
Millsap will compete for rebounds with Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins had 17 points and 15 rebounds Wednesday for his fifth double-double in as many games. He averaged 19.5 points and 12.5 boards in four meetings with Utah as a rookie in 2010-11.
Kings forward Chuck Hayes has missed the last 11 games with a dislocated left shoulder but could return Saturday. Marcus Thornton, averaging a team-high 16.4 points, remains sidelined with a deep thigh bruise.
Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans is surely looking forward to facing Utah. He is averaging 22.8 points lifetime versus the Jazz - his highest mark against any Western Conference opponent.
The Kings have been outscored by an average of 17.7 points while going 2-9 on the road.
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Jimmer Fredette heard cheers. Then he heard boos, then cheers, then boos mixed in with cheers. He must have been playing in Utah. Fredette, who captured the attention of college basketball fans last season as a senior at Brigham Young University, brought Jimmermania back to the Beehive State on Saturday as a member of the Sacramento Kings. He received a standing ovation when introduced...
Monson: Jimmer Fredette’s game vs. Jazz leaves fans conflicted
By Gordon Monson
Published Jan 28, 2012 11:07PM MDT
As Jimmer Fredette played through the Jazz-Kings game at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night, he heard a lot of cheers and a few boos. It was a little weird for him, being back in Utah again. This time, for a team almost everybody in the...
Some players were just built to play college basketball. This isn’t something new. We all watched Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette play at BYU last year knowing that he was going to be a high draft pick but also that he wasn’t ready to play in the NBA. He was the national player of the year who thrived on his ability to create his own shots, hit jumpers over defenders and...
Jimmer Fredette still just another NBA rookie
By Kyle Goon
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Jan 28, 2012 11:17PM MDT
He almost gave them a show they never would have forgotten.
Then again, the sight of Jimmer Fredette air-balling the Sacramento Kings’ final shot of the game in their loss to the Utah Jazz might be unforgettable itself. The former BYU superstar will likely...
Jazz: Fredette expects “loud” Utah homecoming
By Steve Luhm
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Jan 28, 2012 06:16PM MDT
Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette expects an electric atmosphere at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night, when he returns to Utah with the Sacramento Kings and faces the Jazz.
The 7 p.m. game will be televised on Root Sports.
Fredette, college basketball’s...
PBT: It’s been a rough rookie year for Jimmer Fredette. He is shooting 36 percent off the Kings bench, and on defense he is getting exposed and intentionally isolated by opponents.
SALT LAKE CITY The storyline was set up perfectly.
Jim Urquhart Associated Press
Kings guard Jimmer Fredette leaves the court after Sacramento rallied but fell to the Utah Jazz 96-93. Fredette missed a late three-pointer for the lead.
Kings guard Jimmer Fredette takes a tumble out of bounds, with Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson in pursuit.
Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson...
Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 21 points and C.J. Miles added 20 as the Utah Jazz snapped a two-game losing streak, defeating Sacramento 96-93 and spoiling Jimmer Fredette's return to the state where ''Jimmermania'' took hold.
Fredette had a chance to give the Kings the win with 4.2 seconds left, but launched an air-ball 3-pointer.
Hayward's free throw...
Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 21 points and C.J. Miles added 20 as the Utah Jazz snapped a two-game losing streak, defeating Sacramento 96-93 and spoiling Jimmer Fredette's return to the state where "Jimmermania" began. Fredette had a chance to give the Kings the win with 4.2 seconds left, but launched an air-ball 3-pointer.
Gordon Hayward scored 21 points, C.J. Miles had 20 and the Utah Jazz survived a tailor-made three-point attempt by Jimmer Fredette in the final seconds to beat the Sacramento Kings, 96-93, on Saturday night.
Live analysis: Utah Jazz lead Sacramento Kings 27-26 after first quarter
By Steve Luhm
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Jan 28, 2012 07:40PM MDT
The First: Jazz 27, Kings 26
After missing 11 straight, Gordon Hayward hits back-to-back 3-pointers. The Jazz take an 11-6 lead. But DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thomson go to work inside and Jimmer Fredette’s three makes it 25-24...