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Worst of the West! Jazz host Kings
(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the NBA's worst do battle Saturday night when the Sacramento Kings pay a visit to EnergySolutions Arena to take on the Utah Jazz.
The Kings are the doormats of the Pacific Division, while the Jazz are last in the Northwest. Utah owns the worst record in the NBA and Sacramento has the third-worst.
Thank goodness for the Milwaukee Bucks!
The Jazz have lost two in a row with the most recent a 130-98 drubbing Friday night in Portland to the red-hot Trail Blazers. Portland made a franchise-best 17 3-pointers and blew the game open with a 40-13 third quarter.
The Blazers' lead reached 42 points in the fourth quarter.
"I don't think it was a lack of effort," Jazz guard Gordon Hayward said. "I kind of just snowballed on us."
The Jazz allowed the Blazers to shoot 55.4 percent from the field and an eye- opening 73.9 percent from long range.
Alec Burks led the Jazz with 16 points off the bench. Hayward, Jeremy Evans, Mike Harris and John Lucas III all scored 10 points. Starters Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Richard Jefferson combined for 25 points.
The Kings have dropped six straight, including a 106-100 setback at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Sacramento has lost four in a row at home and two straight on the road.
DeMarcus Cousins and rookie Ben McLemore led the Kings with 20 points apiece. It was a career-high for McLemore and Cousins also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Isaiah Thomas chipped in 14 off the bench and John Salmons added 13 for the second unit.
The Lakers outscored the Kings 25-13 in the fourth and Jodie Meeks buried two late 3-pointers to give L.A. the win in the game before Kobe Bryant returns from his Achilles injury.
The Kings also committed 17 turnovers.
"If we can not value the basketball and we can not execute late in games, that's really going to put a major burden on our defense," said Kings coach Mike Malone. "You saw that down the stretch tonight. Our offense gave us nothing, which put a lot of pressure on our defense."
The two teams split their last eight meetings, but the Kings have dropped six of their last seven in Salt Lake City.
12/07 10:54:05 ET