Notebook: Jazz 98, Kings 91 OT



Posted Feb 5, 2013 1:49 AM

By Andrew Aragon, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: It took the injury-riddled Utah Jazz until overtime to get things figured out, but they managed to avoid what would have been a disastrous home defeat. The Jazz, working out their rotations and personnel while dealing with numerous guard injuries, finished off the Sacramento Kings 98-91 in overtime on Monday night. Randy Foye had 20 points and six assists, while Al Jefferson had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Jazz (27-22), who overcame a seven-point fourth quarter deficit.

Sacramento (17-33), one of the league's worst road teams, was without DeMarcus Cousins in the second half. He picked up his second technical foul at halftime and was ejected. Jason Thompson picked up the slack with Cousins out, recording a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 20 points for the Kings.

QUOTABLE: "We just got stops. I don't know what was wrong. Our energy was down in the third and fourth quarter, but we picked it up and had a chance to win at the end but closed it out in overtime."

--Jazz center Al Jefferson

THE STAT: Utah's shortened bench again sparked the team with energy and production. The Jazz's four bench players, Alec Burks (14 points) Derrick Favors (13), DeMarre Carroll (10) and Enes Kanter (4) combined to outscore Sacramento's reserves 41-21. The boost was needed as Utah's starters came out flat to start both halves and put the team in a hole to dig out of.

TURNING POINT: The Jazz thoroughly outplayed the Kings in overtime. Foye opened the extra period with a jumper, and Utah led the rest of the way. The Jazz shot 4-for-6 and improved in two areas where it struggled for most of the game -- ball movement and getting to the free-throw line. The Kings, meanwhile, fell apart, shooting 3-for-8 while committing two turnovers including a pass by Evans that landed in the fifth row. A jumper by Paul Millsap with 1:06 remaining gave the Jazz a 92-87 lead and iced the game. Foye scored six points in overtime.

HOT: The Jazz's bench shot 17-for-26 with Burks and Favors each finishing 5-for-7. Utah shot a season-high 58.3 percent from 3-point range. Thompson, who returned to Sacramento's starting lineup after a one-game absence, recorded his first double-double since Jan. 2.

NOT: It was a rough night for Sacramento's Jimmer Fredette, who is still a local hero/villain after starring at nearby BYU. He seemed to be pressing while trying to impress some of his hometown fans. He shot 0-for-5 and committed three turnovers in 13 minutes. John Salmons shot 1-for-9 and scored two points for the Kings, while Marcus Thornton shot 3-for-12. For the Jazz, Jefferson set the wrong tone for Utah's offense early, taking the team's first seven shots. He made three of them. Jefferson also air-balled a jumper in the final seconds of the fourth quarter that would have ended the game. The Jazz committed 20 turnovers.

QUOTABLE II: "Before that [the officials] tell us if you have a problem with them, come talk to them. They give us permission to do that. I tried to wait until the play was over. I waited until the play stopped. I went up to the ref. He kept telling me, 'Don't talk to me, don't talk to me, I don't want to talk to you.' So I waited until halftime. He said the same thing. He was saying, 'Don't talk to me.' So my response was, 'You don't have to act like an effing female.' I shouldn't have said that. That's about it."

--Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins on his ejection

GOOD MOVE: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin played Burks instead of starter Jamaal Tinsley at point guard the entire fourth quarter and overtime and the move paid dividends. Burks, a shooting guard, ran the offense efficiently and dished four assists in the fourth quarter. In overtime, he swished a 20-foot jumper with 2:39 left to give Utah a 90-87 lead. Burks is a much more athletic alternative to Tinsley, and the Jazz might not have won if Corbin hadn't played him down the stretch.

BAD MOVE: Cousins hurt his team by bickering with officials and getting booted from the game. He picked up his second technical foul as he was walking into the locker room at halftime. His first came with 2:23 remaining in the second quarter when he said something to anger an official who was standing approximately 20 feet away from him. Cousins, instead of just going into the locker room for the break, stopped to argue with officials and earned another technical. Cousins leads the league with 12 technical fouls. He has been ejected in two games this season, and both of them were in Utah.

NOTABLE: The Jazz were without injured players Gordon Hayward, Earl Watson and Mo Williams, leaving Tinsley as the team's only true point guard. Burks' 14 points were a season high. The Kings closed out a challenging six-game road trip that took them to Denver, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia and New York before Utah. They went 1-5 on the trip. Sacramento is 0-3 in overtime games, and has lost nine of its last 10 games overall. Utah is 3-0 in overtime games this season. The Jazz had 25 assists. When they dish 20 or more assists, they are 23-12 this season. Utah had just four free-throw attempts in the first three quarters. The Kings fell to 5-21 on the road. Utah has won nine of its last 10 home games.

UP NEXT: For the Kings, Saturday vs. Jazz, Sunday vs. Rockets, Feb. 12 @ Memphis. For the Jazz, Wednesday vs. Bucks, Friday vs. Bulls, Saturday @ Sacramento.