Jazz Beat Kings, Clinch NBA’s Best Record For First Time In Franchise History

May 16, 2021, 9:16 PM | Updated: 9:21 pm
Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings...
Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz attempts to get open against Terence Davis #9 of the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center on May 16, 2021 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ben Green/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Green/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz knocked off the Sacramento Kings 121-99 and clinched the outright best record in the NBA for the first time in franchise history.

The Jazz tied for the best record in the NBA twice in 1998 and 1999 but have clinched it outright with a win over the Kings. They finished the 72-game season with a 52-20 record.

Jordan Clarkson led the way with 33 points off the bench, shooting 11-for-20 from the field and 6-of-12 from the three-point line. Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points, while Rudy Gobert recorded another double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Seven Jazz players scored in double figures.

The Kings had just eight players available to play in the game. Terence Davis led them with 20 points off the bench. Damian Jones poured in 19 points.

Jazz Finish First Half Strong After Slow Start

It wasn’t the greatest first quarter for the Jazz for the first nine minutes. The Kings held a 25-13 lead with 3:08 left in the first quarter when the Jazz ended the opening period on a 15-0 run.

Utah started their run with a midrange jumper by Jordan Clarkson before the Jazz sixth man hit a three-pointer to trim the deficit to seven. Miye Oni followed that up with a three-pointer to cut the Kings’ lead to four points.

Clarkson nailed another three-pointer to bring the Jazz within one. Georges Niang made a driving layup to take the lead and Rudy Gobert threw down a dunk to put an exclamation mark on the first quarter.

After 12 minutes, the Jazz held a 28-25 lead. Clarkson led the way with 11 points. Bojan Bogdanovic added five points, while Rudy Gobert dropped four points. For the Kings, Terence Davis scored seven points off the bench as well as Jahmi’us Ramsey dropped five points. The Kings have only eight players available.

Mike Conley was the star of the second quarter, dropping 11 points on 4-of-5 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the three-point line. George Niang added two triples and Gobert scored five points. The Jazz outscored the Kings 36-24 to take a 64-49 halftime lead.

Leading the Jazz in the first half was Jordan Clarkson with 14 points. Mike Conley added 11.

Jazz Break Game Open With Huge Second Half Against Kings

The Jazz had things going from beyond the arc in the first half and they carried it into the third quarter by hitting 50 percent of their triples, going 7-of-14. Bogdanovic and Clarkson each had nine points to lead the Jazz. They outscored the Kings 33-24 in the third quarter to take a 97-73 lead entering the fourth.

From that point, the Jazz coasted to the win.

The Jazz finished the regular season with a 52-20 record. They will find out who they will play in the first round of the NBA Playoffs when the Play-In Tournament concludes on May 21. The Play-In Tournament goes from May 18-21 on ESPN and TNT.

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