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Jefferson leads Jazz over Kings
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Richard Jefferson shot 7-of-9 from the floor and led Utah with 20 points as the Jazz exacted revenge with a 122-101 win over the Sacramento Kings from Sleep Train Arena.
Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward netted 17 points apiece for the Jazz, who lost at home in overtime to the Kings on Dec. 7. Favors returned after missing the last two games -- including the Sacramento loss -- with lower back soreness and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds with three blocked shots.
"It was real fun, especially the way we shared the basketball," Hayward said. "People were playing for their teammates, not for themselves and that's the reason why we shot the ball so well and the reason why we came out on top."
Alec Burks dropped 17 points off the bench in the triumph and Trey Burke went for 11 points while matching a career-high with nine assists.
The Kings were once again without Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray. The trio was acquired in a trade earlier in the week from Toronto but did not pass physicals in time to play in Wednesday's contest. All three should be available on Friday in Phoenix.
DeMarcus Cousins led the hosts with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Isaiah Thomas had 20 points with seven assists as the Kings' brief two-game winning streak came to an end.
"I honestly don't know the reason, but it was pretty bad," Cousins admitted. "They jumped out on us early."
Hayward's trey with 2:23 left in the first had Utah in front by 11, but Sacramento closed the gap with eight straight points for a 26-23 margin after 12 minutes.
The Jazz started pulling away midway through the second, when a Jeremy Evans three-point play made it 43-31. The margin was back at 12 at intermission.
Things unraveled for Sacramento midway through the third period. Jefferson made it 79-59 with a 3, which led to a Cousins technical foul. Cousins was frustrated for the rest of the contest but managed to avoid a second technical. The young center has been thrown out of two games against Utah in his career.
Burks' 3 gave the visitors a 24-point lead after three and they cruised to the finish line.
Utah snapped a four-game losing streak ... The Jazz shot 13-of-23 from beyond the arc ... Jimmer Fredette netted a season-high 13 points for Sacramento.
12/12 02:00:53 ET