Sacramento Kings v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 14: Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz on October 14, 2019 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The Roundup—Jazz's defense remains a work in progress in 128-115 preseason loss to Sacramento

by Aaron Falk

With Rudy Gobert, the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year patrolling the paint, the Utah Jazz expect to be one of the league’s best defenses each year. But it’s going to take some time for that to come together.

The Jazz couldn’t slow down the Sacramento Kings enough Monday night, losing 128-115 in preseason action at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“We’ve got so many new guys on the team,” point guard Mike Conley said Monday. “We’re all trying to get up to speed with the defensive calls, using Rudy to the best of our ability, the defensive player he is. It just takes time. The more we play, the better we’ll be.”

The loss dropped the Jazz to 1-3 in the preseason.

The Jazz trailed by as much as 23 on Monday night. Donovan Mitchell and company cut the lead to single digits heading into the fourth quarter, before the Kings pulled away for good.

Mitchell finished with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go along with five rebounds and two assists. Gobert had 17 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes of action. And Joe Ingles recorded 12 points and eight assists.

The Kings got 23 points from guard Buddy Hield and 22 points and 11 boards from big man Marvin Bagley III.

Top Plays

Key Stretch

A Nemanja Bjelica 3-pointer capped a 19-5 run for Sacramento to start the second quarter, giving the Kings a lead they would not relinquish.

Significant Stats

78

The Jazz’s defense remains a work in progress as the preseason progresses. The squad gave up 78 points in the first half.

16

The Kings got plenty of chances to inflict damage on Monday night. Sacramento attempted 100 field goals to Utah’s 84, a 16-shot differential.

Notable

Guard Emmanuel Mudiay made his preseason debut. He finished with eight points and two rebounds. … Veteran Jeff Green got the start at power forward and contributed 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. … Jazz guard Danté Exum (right knee rehab) was held out of action Monday. The Kings, meanwhile, had a number of notable absences, including Trevor Ariza (lipoma excision), Harry Giles III (sore left knee), and Cory Joseph (sore right calf).

Up Next

The Jazz will wrap up their preseason schedule Wednesday night when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Vivint Smart Home Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.

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