NBA regular season

Jordan Clarkson, Jazz crush Kings to finish with best record in NBA

Jordan Clarkson, Jazz crush Kings to finish with best record in NBA

SPARK PLUG. Jordan Clarkson solidifies his case for the Sixth Man of the Year award with a 33-point performance for the Jazz.

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Jordan Clarkson leads the scoring department as the Jazz end the regular NBA season with a league-best 52-20 record

Jordan Clarkson scored 33 points and made six three-pointers and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 to lead the Utah Jazz to a 121-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, May 16 (Monday, May 17, Manila time).

Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 16 rebounds. Mike Conley chipped in 11 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds. Utah (52-20) clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs after finishing with the league’s best regular-season record.

Terence Davis scored 20 points to lead the Kings. Damian Jones chipped in 19 points. Buddy Hield added 13 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds for Sacramento.

The Kings (31-41) rested several key players in their final game of the season. De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes were all sidelined, but being shorthanded did not faze Sacramento early in the game.

Utah played sloppy to start the first quarter. The Jazz had six turnovers compared to only five baskets in the game’s first nine minutes.

Sacramento took advantage, ripping off an 11-0 run to take an 11-5 lead. Delon Wright assisted a basket to start the run and capped it off with a three-pointer. Utah climbed back to within a point on a three-point play from Clarkson. The Kings answered with a 14-3 run – highlighted by three straight baskets from Davis – to extend their lead to 25-13.

Clarkson helped Utah erase the deficit before the first quarter ended. The Jazz scored on six straight possessions to mount a 15-0 run. Clarkson scored three baskets to help Utah reclaim a 28-25 lead going into the second quarter.

The Kings struggled to keep pace as the second quarter progressed. After Sacramento trimmed Utah’s lead to 50-45 on back-to-back baskets from Wright and Jahmi’us Ramsey, the Jazz closed the half on a 14-4 run to take a 64-49 lead. Conley scored a pair of baskets and assisted another to fuel the run.

Utah put the game out of reach after opening the third quarter with a 20-6 run. Clarkson capped the run with a pair of three-pointers that gave the Jazz an 84-55 lead. –