Jazz-Kings preview

The Utah Jazz went 10-4 in the month of January and did so, thanks in large part, to playing eight games at home.

So far in February, they’re 1-1, with a home win over Portland and a loss to the Trail Blazers the following night at The Rose Garden.

The Jazz (26-22) are back in action Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena against the Sacramento Kings (27-32).

Utah is well rested, having played nine of it last 16 games at home. During that stretch, the Jazz are 11-5.

The Kings come in at the end of a six-game trip that has seen them travel from Denver to Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and finally Salt Lake City.

The only win as a 96-94 victory at the lowly Wizards on Jan. 28.

“The best way for us to get out of it is to play as a team, move the ball and play for each other,” said Kings guard Jimmer Fredette. “If we do that, we play well. At times we get away from it. We get in a hole I think sometimes we go one-on-one too much and we need to stay away from that as much as we can.”

The Kings (5-20 on the road this season) are led by big man DeMarcus Cousins, who averages 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Guard Tyreke Evans averages 15.1 points and 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Fredette, who starred at BYU, is only getting about 14 minutes a game and averaging 7.5 points.

The Jazz and Kings have already met twice this season, with each team winning on its home floor.

The Jazz won 104-102 Nov. 23 in Salt Lake; they lost 108-97 the following night in Sacramento, Calif.

In the two games, Evans is averaging 23 points, five assists and 4.5 rebounds. He could have another big night tonight because the Jazz’s backcourt depth has taken a hit lately.

They are without starting point guard Mo Williams (thumb surgery), reserve point Earl Watson (right leg bone bruise, stress fracture) and swingman Gordon Hayward (sprained right shoulder).

The Jazz will start 34-year-old Jamaal Tinsley at point guard and use second-year man Alec Burks as a backup along with starting two-guard Randy Foye.

Neither Foye nor Burks are points, however, each can give coach Tyrone Corbin some minutes at that position.

Foye hit six 3-pointers and scored 23 points in a loss to Portland last Saturday.

He said much of his success depends on Utah’s post players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who often get double-teamed, leaving outside shooters with open looks at the basket.

“I try not to think about it, I try to give a lot of credit to my teammates,” he said. “My teammates, they pass me the ball.”

Foye is shooting 43 percent from behind the 3-point line and 41 percent overall.


About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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One Response to Jazz-Kings preview

  1. Roy Lynn says:

    Thank you Standard-Examiner! It’s nice to read what a real Utah Jazz fan has to say about things. So tired of the usual journalistic spin. Keep up the good work, Jazzy Jim!

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