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News » Lowly Kings heat up vs. Jazz

Lowly Kings heat up vs. Jazz

Lowly Kings heat up vs. Jazz If the Utah Jazz didn't hit rock bottom Saturday night, they must certainly see it from here.

Playing against the shorthanded Sacramento Kings -- only 48 hours after a rousing win over San Antonio that its players vowed would be a launching pad for future success -- Utah crashed and burned.

Sacramento rookie Tyreke Evans scored 32 points and felt "unstoppable" against another meek defensive effort as the Kings rolled to a 104-99 victory over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

On a night when they squandered a 15-point lead and fell behind by 20, Utah joined the Memphis Grizzlies on the short list of teams lightly regarded Sacramento has beaten.

The Jazz did it with a head-shaking collapse in the second and third quarters, when the Kings outscored them, 66-38.

Sacramento won in Salt Lake City for the first time in nearly three years without 30-point scorer Kevin Martin, who is sidelined with a fractured wrist.

Evans picked up much of the slack, scoring 10 points more than he had in any of his previous five professional games.

"That's the style I played Memphis," said the No. 4 pick in last summer's NBA draft. "Up and down. Fast breaks. Once I got that going, I got in a rhythm going, I felt I was unstoppable getting to the basket."

Deron Williams led the Jazz with 29 points and 15 assists, but it wasn't enough as the Kings went 11-for-19 from the three-point line.

"Just a bad game for us, period," Williams said. "We had a 15-point lead and let it slip away. We let them get confidence and the third quarter was even worse."

Sparked by their own rookie, Wesley Mathews, the Jazz opened a 39-24 lead with 9:47 left in the first half. Mathews scored nine points in a 31/2-minute stretch and Utah appeared on its way to an easy post-San Antonio victory.

"We came out strong and we played for one quarter," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "It looked like we thought we had the ballgame won.

"Then they came back and had a big second quarter and really put us on our heels. I don't know where all our energy went but it went away quick."

When Sacramento switched to a zone defense, the Jazz's offense stopped functioning.

Over a 38-possession stretch that started early in the second quarter and continued into the third, Utah converted 11 of 38 trips down the floor.

"That's where it started," Williams said. "When they went zone the offense got a little stagnant, which is what they were trying to do. They forced some turnovers and they were able to get some confidence and hit some shots."

Carlos Boozer, who finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds, agreed.

In a quiet locker room, he leaned forward, mostly stared at the floor and said, "We're a better team than we showed [against] a zone. A zone stopped us from scoring for two quarters. We [usually] do a better job of executing. But for some reason tonight we couldn't get the ball to go in the basket for us."

A bad sign for the future?

"We have to work that out because we can't keep having teams play zone against us and not score," Boozer said. "We have to nip that in the bud so we get them out of it." Storylines

IN SHORT ? The Jazz squander a 15-point lead and lose to Sacramento, which is without its best player, the injured Kevin Martin.

KEY STAT ? Sacramento rookie Tyreke Evans scores 32 points, 10 over his previous career high.

KEY MOMENT ? With Utah rallying from a 20-point deficit, Beno Udrih drives in the final minute to make it 97-89.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 9, 2009


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