An impressive fourth-quarter run against the Sacramento Kings helped the Utah Jazz remain undefeated at home.Now, the Jazz will try to extend their season-high three-game winning streak with a home-and-home sweep Saturday night.Down by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter on Friday, Utah (7-6) rallied for a 104-102 victory as Gordon Hayward's 22-foot jumper with 4.5 seconds left was the difference. He finished with a team-high 23 points."We turned the ball over (13 times), unfinished plays, everything we had done to get in that position on the road, in this building against a good team where you don't win that often," Kings coach Keith Smart told the league's official website after his team fell to 0-5 on the road. "Too much one-on-one and it cost us the game."The Jazz, meanwhile, improved to 5-0 at home and moved above the break-even point for the first time since an opening night win over Dallas."I thought we won with a lot of grit, gut, staying together," coach Tyrone Corbin said.The Jazz may need that type of effort again considering close finishes between these teams have become common. They split four contests last season, with the games decided by a total of 12 points.In their last visit to Sacramento on March 22, the Jazz won 103-102 as Al Jefferson delivered the game-winner with 0.9 seconds left.Utah goes for its first back-to-back road wins since that contest. A victory would also give the Jazz their first 4-0 run since finishing 2011-12 on a five-game surge.Losers of six of seven, the Kings (3-9) will try to prevent that from happening as they open a stretch of five of six at home.They'll try to win two straight at home after ending a four-game skid there with Wednesday's 113-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.Sacramento made a season-best 10 3-pointers on Friday as Aaron Brooks, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette each hit three, but it needs to improve on the glass after pulling down a season-low 31 boards to Utah's 43.DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds in the loss, while Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors totaled 65 points and 27 boards.If Jazz point guard Mo Williams can't go after spraining his ankle Friday, Jamaal Tinsley will likely step in. The veteran grabbed six rebounds, handed out 12 assists and stole the ball from Brooks with 14.9 seconds left to help set up Hayward's final shot.Utah backup Earl Watson could also see more action after totaling two assists and two rebounds in nine minutes Friday. It was his first appearance of 2012-13 after undergoing season-ending knee surgery in April.
Looking to snap a three game losing streak, the Sacramento Kings travel to Dallas to take on an injury ravished Mavericks team that sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
The Kings escaped New York with 12 healthy bodies, but they couldn’t get out of town with a win or avoid a little bit of drama. The loss dropped Sacramento to 7-13 on the season and veteran Matt Barnes found himself in some hot water following an incident at a New York City nightclub.
Dallas is a shell of a team that is quickly heading towards a rebuild. Head coach Rick Carlisle’s team currently ranks last in the NBA in field goal percentage, free throw attempts, rebounds, blocks and scoring. They also rank 29th in assists and 27th in 3-point percentage.
Kings by 3.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Rudy Gay vs. Harrison Barnes -- Barnes is in his first season with the Mavs after leaving the Golden State Warriors for a mega-deal in Dallas. The 24-year-old wing is posting career-highs in points, at 20.9 per game and rebounds at 5.8. Gay is quietly having a very strong season for Sacramento in a free agency year. He comes into the game averaging 19.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 7-13, fourth place in Pacific
Mavs: 4-16, last place in Southwest
Kings: No injuries to report.
Mavs: C Andrew Bogut (knee) out, F Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) out, J.J. Barea (calf) out, G Seth Curry (knee) questionable.
Sacramento took the season series against the Mavericks 3-1 last year, including a 104-101 victory March 3 at the American Airlines Center that snapped a 22-game losing streak for the Kings in Dallas. The Mavs hold a 91-65 advantage over the Kings all-time, and a 74-52 lead during the Sacramento-era.
Trouble in New York. Not only did the Sacramento Kings drop a game to the Knicks Sunday evening at Madison Square Garden, but they found a way to land on TMZ as part of their postgame activities.
A report surfaced Monday morning that the NYPD was looking to question Matt Barnes after nightclub patrons accused him of choking someone. The veteran wing has since been in contact with authorities to give his account of the events.
"Matt is cooperating with NYPD's investigation," Matt Barnes' attorney Matt Spiro said in a statement to CSN California.
Barnes also posted a statement on the report to his Instagram account, writing "There's always two sides to a story.. The side the media consistently tries to paint of me.... And what actually happened! Don't believe everything you read."
Later Monday after afternoon, the Kings issued the following statement: "We have clear standards of conduct and behavior expected of the entire Kings organization – on and off the court. We are working with all parties involved to gather information in order to take any appropriate next steps."
Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins went out to a New York City nightclub following the game, which by all means is well within their rights. While information is still being gathered, it appears that Barnes got into an altercation after bumping into a woman and Cousins had to come to his aid.
According to TMZ, Barnes claims to be the victim in this incident and has taken pictures of his injuries that he believes support his account of the events.
“Barnes claims the woman reacted by slapping him in the face, hard -- and that’s when all hell broke loose.
Barnes claims the woman’s crew -- which included several men -- jumped in and began to get violent. Barnes was knocked to the ground in the melee and one of the men began to choke him.
We’re told Barnes got physical in an effort to protect himself. Cousins jumped in to defend Barnes.”
Spiro told TMZ, “We do not believe a crime was committed and are hopeful no charges will be pressed.”
The Kings are scheduled to fly to Dallas sometime on Monday where they will face the Mavericks on Wednesday evening.