- Associated Press - Saturday, December 10, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Turnovers got the Utah Jazz off to a rough start Saturday night.

Sacramento raced to big leads in the first and third quarters, but behind Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, Utah rallied both times for a 104-84 victory over the Kings.

The Jazz had 22 turnovers but won for the eighth time in 10 games after holding Sacramento to just eight points on 3-of-22 shooting in the fourth quarter. It is the fewest points allowed by Utah in the fourth quarter this season.

“We guarded,” Hayward said. “They got nothing easy. It seemed like a lot of the shots were contested. That’s just what happened. Then we were able to get the ball up the court and they weren’t set. We got some good looks. People knocked down timely 3s.”

Gobert had 17 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high six blocks for the Jazz and is one of only five NBA players to block six or more shots in a game this season. Hayward scored 26 points after sitting out with an injured finger in Thursday’s loss to Golden State, and Trey Lyles added 14 points and five rebounds for Utah.

Rudy Gay scored 20 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Sacramento. Darren Collison added 17 points and Omri Casspi chipped in 12 for the Kings, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.

The Kings were undone by their lifeless fourth quarter.

“We scored eight,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. “We shot 37 percent (in the game). It’s tough. They do a great job of clogging the paint. You got to make shots if you’re going to get them.”

The Kings took an early lead thanks to Utah’s mistakes. The Jazz turned the ball over four times in the first 2:20 of the game, leading to an 11-0 Sacramento run. Gay highlighted the spurt with layups off back-to-back steals, and Kosta Koufos banked in a hook shot to finish it off.

After a quick timeout, Utah’s offense got back on track with baskets from Boris Diaw and Dante Exum on consecutive possessions. The Jazz took their first lead a couple of minutes later after Joe Ingles buried a 3-pointer. Hayward then capped a 22-5 run with back-to-back baskets to give Utah a 22-16 lead.

The third quarter felt like a rerun of the first. After clawing back for a 52-50 halftime lead, Utah fell behind again after committing a pair of turnovers to spark a 10-0 Sacramento run. The Kings went ahead on two baskets from Collison and took a 60-52 lead on a pull-up jumper from Gay.

Much like the first quarter, the Jazz rallied, and then Utah used a 20-4 run to slam the door on the Kings early in the fourth quarter. Hayward capped the stretch with a 3-pointer to give the Jazz a 98-80 lead with 5:31 remaining.

“They were unforced, just sloppy play,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “The guys sorted it out, which was good to see.”


Kings: Sacramento scored a season-high 36 points off turnovers. … The Kings are 0-12 this season when trailing after three quarters. … Cousins averaged 30.0 points and 13.0 rebounds in three games against Utah last season.

Jazz: Hayward became the first Jazz player with 10 straight 20-point games since Karl Malone in 2001. … Gobert registered his fourth straight double-double and his 15th overall this season. Gobert has averaged a double-double through Utah’s first 25 games.


Utah tried to limit Cousins to low-percentage shots, keeping him out of the paint and off the free-throw line.

Mission accomplished. Cousins shot just 7 of 22 from the floor and attempted just three free throws in 34 minutes. It became obvious Cousins was in for a long night when Gobert swatted back his dunk attempt on Sacramento’s first play of the game.

“For Cousins, he’s one of the best players in the league at his position,” Gobert said. “So you can’t give him any space and you also have to make sure you move your feet because he’s pretty quick and pretty strong.”


Kings: Monday they return home to host the Los Angeles Lakers for the final time this season. Last time against the Lakers, poor second-half shooting led to a home loss for Sacramento.

Jazz: Wednesday they host Oklahoma City. The Thunder swept the season series 4-0 with Utah a season ago.

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