UTAH JAZZ

Walker Kessler Scores Career-High, Utah Jazz Battling Kings In Third

Mar 25, 2023, 9:35 PM

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Walker Kessler #24 of the Utah Jazz during the first half of NBA game (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – After scoring 19 points in the first half, rookie center Walker Kessler has a career-high 25 points against the Sacramento Kings.

The Jazz (35-38, 12th in West) traveled to Sacramento to take on the fast-paced Kings (44-29, 3rd in West) on Saturday, March 25.

Kessler’s 19 first-half points led Utah to a six-point halftime lead but the Kings have come out firing in the second half to take an 84-78 lead.

Kessler leads the Jazz with 25 points and eight rebounds. Keegan Murray (18 points) and Kevin Huerter (18 points) lead Sacramento with 14 minutes to play.

RELATED: Joe Ingles Quiet In Utah Return, Bucks Smash Jazz

Jazz Set Sights On Sacramento Kings

After falling to the Bucks on Friday night, the Jazz have a difficult turnaround facing the Kings in Sacramento on Saturday.

The Jazz beat the Kings in their matchup earlier in the week, despite playing without Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, and Sexton.

Ochai Agbaji scored a career-high 27 points on 8-14 shooting including 6-10 from the three-point line.

The Jazz are winless since beating the Kings, dropping the final two games of their four-game homestand to fall to 35-38 on the season.

The Kings meanwhile have hit a rare slump late in the season dropping back-to-back games against the Jazz and the Boston Celtics.

RELATED: Fontecchio Career-High Not Enough As Bucks Crush Jazz

Vying for the second seed in the West, the Kings losing streak dropped them to third in the West, and into a likely first-round match-up with either the Golden State Warriors or the Los Angeles Clippers.

De’Aaron Fox scored 37 points to lead the Kings in Utah, though Domontas Sabonis scored 11 points on 4-11 shooting going head-to-head with Walker Kessler.

Collin Sexton Hopes To Return This Season

Despite missing the last 13 games due to a hamstring injury, Collin Sexton said before Friday’s game that he hopes to return this season.

Sexton suffered the injury in Memphis in the final game before the All-Star break and hasn’t seen the floor since.

“I’ve just pretty much been ramping up and just trying to get back out there,” Sexton said. “It’s tough just sitting there and watching.”

The Alabama product has been a reliable backup for the Jazz in 47 appearances this season but has been in and out of the lineup in his first year with the team. Sexton is averaging 14.3 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 rebounds while shooting an efficient 50 percent from the floor and 41 percent from the three-point line.

Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings game is being televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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Walker Kessler Scores Career-High, Utah Jazz Battling Kings In Third