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Jazz Squeak Out Win Against Kings In Season Opener

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 17: Hed coach Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz looks back at his team during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on October 17, 2018 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It took a few minutes to shake the rust off, but the Utah Jazz were able to take down the Sacramento Kings, 123-117.

Donovan Mitchell began his sophomore campaign with a 24-point performance on 8-of-21 shooting from the field. He scored 11 of those point in the fourth quarter to put away the Kings.

SACRAMENTO, CA – OCTOBER 17: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks to pass the ball against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on October 17, 2018 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Joe Ingles added 22 points, 6 assists and 4 steals, while shooting 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-6 from the three-point line.

Rudy Gobert added a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds to go with 3 blocks.

Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings with 23 points and De’Aaron Fox added 21 points in the loss.

Sluggish First Quarter

The Jazz fell into a hole early in the game, as the Kings jumped out to a 9-0 run in the first three minutes into the game. Utah trailed by as much as 16 points in the opening quarter. They countered late in the first with a 20-9 run to end the quarter and trailed 34-30.

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder wasn’t happy with the way his team started the game.

“They (Sacramento) came out motivated and energetic. I thought early in the game we weren’t sharp and a step too slow,” Snyder said. “We were able to respond, it was a tough game,” he added.

Utah Jazz Bench Brought The Energy

The runs in the second quarter that led to the Jazz leading by 13, 68-55, it was a lot due to the play of the bench. Their play mixed in with three point shooting, hitting 13 of their 27 attempts from deep.

Only three bench players scored for the Jazz but that was all they needed. Coincidentally, the three players that include Dante Exum, Alec Burks and Jae Crowder each scored 13 points.

Donovan Mitchell was happy with the energy that the bench provided.

“They (Kings) made good shots but we needed to pick our energy up,” said Mitchell. “Have to give credit to the second unit for lifting us up. Not every game is going to be easy but we came out and pulled it out.”

Big Test Coming In Home Opener

Friday night, Vivint Smart Home Arena will be rocking as the defending champion Golden State Warriors come to town.

Mitchell and Gobert talk about the challenge that they present.

“We’re excited but we have to be ready,” Mitchell said.

Gobert added, “It’s a different team, different game, different way of play. We have to get home and start getting ready for them,” he said.

The Jazz and Warriors are both 1-0, tip-off on Friday is at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.