A loss last month to the Sacramento Kings sent the Utah Jazz on a frustrating slide through December.
Having bounced back in the last few weeks, the Jazz (24-18) look to avoid a repeat of that scenario when they host the Kings (18-23) on Friday.
Utah won for the eighth time in 10 games Monday, 109-93 over the Los Angeles Clippers to complete a sweep of a home-and-home series. The Jazz's surge, which began with a 111-101 victory over Portland on Dec. 31, came after they went 3-11 from Dec. 4-29 - a slump that started with a 117-107 loss to the Kings.
Defense has been a key to the hot streak, as the Jazz have held opponents to 93 points or fewer in five of their last seven games.
Utah is looking to build on its third-best shooting game of the season. The Jazz shot 57.0 percent from the field Monday, jumping out to a 54-43 lead at the half en route to just their second road win in the last 13 games.
Deron Williams had 18 points and 13 assists, and was one of seven Jazz players that scored in double figures. Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 12 rebounds while Matt Harpring and Paul Millsap each scored 17 points.
"We're obviously a better team when we're balanced like that," Harpring said. "The last couple of games we've been like that. Hopefully, we can continue to do that because it makes us so much harder to guard when you have six or seven guys that can score."
The Jazz also had seven players score in double figures in a 106-88 win over the Clippers on Friday.
"It was definitely a good win, especially with the effort we got and the help we got from the bench," Williams said Monday. "It was good to set the tempo early. We were active on defense and got some good steals and deflections."
Utah will be trying for its eighth straight home victory Friday, and is 17-3 in Salt Lake City this season. The Jazz have won just three times in their last 14 home games against the Kings, but beat them at EnergySolutions Arena on Nov. 12, 117-93.
Sacramento is coming off a 111-85 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday. Mike Bibby scored 16 points and Brad Miller added 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Kings fell apart in the second half, getting outscored 61-36. They committed 21 turnovers that led to 35 points.
"On the road you can't survive that," coach Reggie Theus said. "I think we played a lot looser than necessary."
Sacramento had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-14 on the road this season. The Kings came into Wednesday's game having won six of eight.
Sacramento just recently got its top three scorers from last season - Bibby, Kevin Martin and Ron Artest - together in the starting lineup for the first time this season Tuesday.
"We just have to get our chemistry going again," center Mikki Moore said. "We need to start finding out what we have to do to win games."
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