By Shawn Whelchel
The injury ridden Sacramento Kings could not stave off a late scoring run by the Jazz on Wednesday night, as Utah went on to clinch the season series with a 103-91 win at home.
Sacramento was without two of their top scorers in the lineup on Wednesday, as DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Darren Collison were all held out of action with their respective injuries. Omri Caspri led the Kings makeshift starting lineup with 16 points, while Jason Thomas followed with a double-double on 12 points and 11 boards.
Despite their lack of starting depth, the Kings headed into the locker room at halftime with a six point lead over the Jazz, who struggled to get on the board early. But the Jazz would come out stronger in the third, outscoring Sacramento by 8 in the quarter to regain control of the game.
The two teams traded buckets early in the fourth before the Jazz would go on a 15-0 run with a little over 9 minutes left in the game to secure the victory, and the season series, against Sacramento. The Kings were brought down by poor perimeter defense in the second half, allowing the Jazz to dump in 10 three-pointers in their comeback effort.
Rodney Hood led Utah with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Derrick Favors followed him with a double-double on 18 points and 11 rebounds. Utah finished with six players in double figures.
Despite the Kings being poised to end the season on a sour note after losing six of their last seven games, fans of the team were treated to a historic moment with just under 20 seconds to go in the game as Sim Bhullar, the 7’5 giant recently acquired by Sacramento, became the first person of Indian decent to score in the NBA after dumping in a nifty jump hook in the middle of the post. He finished the game with just those two points.
The Kings will travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Friday night.