Jordan Clarkson and De’Aaron Fox engaged in an entertaining scoring duel, combining for 86 points in the Utah Jazz’s 134-125 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings in Salt Lake City Saturday night, March 12 (Sunday, March 13, Manila time).
Clarkson pumped in a career-high 45 points to lead Utah to its fourth win over the Kings this season. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year hit 15-of-21 shots, drained 7-of-13 three-pointers, and made all eight free-throw attempts.
Clarkson, whose previous career-best was 42 points, surpassed John Drew’s franchise record of 38 bench points.
Fox wasn’t quite as efficient as Clarkson, but still had a monster night by shooting 15-for-32 with five treys and dishing out 11 assists in the loss.
Harrison Barnes added 18 points and the Kings lost despite shooting 50.0% from the field.
Bojan Bogdanovic hit key buckets late in the game and finished with 26 points while Donovan Mitchell netted 25 points with 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
Hassan Whiteside scored 12 points, hauled in 21 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots in a starting role. Rudy Gobert, the backbone of the Jazz’s usually stingy defense, didn’t play because of a left foot strain.
The Jazz, who shot 55.8% overall, also played without point guard Mike Conley, who usually rests in one game of back-to-backs.
The Kings had a 17-11 lead when the Jazz went on a 10-2 run to go up by two. Sacramento kept its offensive fire stoked in the quarter, though, going ahead by seven and taking a 42-37 lead after an explosive opening period.
Fox finished with 20 points and 4 assists in the first quarter alone.
Utah went on a 9-0 run early in the second quarter to regain the lead at 45-44. Sacramento countered with eight straight. The Jazz responded by outscoring the Kings by 11 the rest of the half for a 71-67 halftime advantage.
Clarkson went into the break with 24 points, including a 14-point first quarter.
The Jazz took a 16-point lead after Clarkson hit three consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter, but Sacramento made things interesting by scoring 11 in a row, carving the Jazz lead down to five.
Clarkson and Bogdanovic each came up big in the final minutes to help the Jazz restore their double-digit lead. – Rappler.com