UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Drop Preseason Finale To Kings

Oct 19, 2023, 11:03 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2023, 10:21 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz dropped their preseason finale to the Sacramento Kings 116-113 on Thursday night.

Talen Horton-Tucker and Collin Sexton combined for 50 points, but it wasn’t enough as Malik Monk poured in 23 to lead Sacramento.

The two teams will face off on Wednesday in Salt Lake City in the regular season opener.

Is Jazz Point Guard Race Decided?

Jazz head coach Will Hardy opted to rest Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Clarkson, and John Collins against the Kings, pushing Sexton and Horton-Tucker into the starting lineup.

Horton-Tucker scored a team-high 26 points, dished out eight assists, and grabbed five rebounds in 30 minutes while Sexton added 24, five, and five in 23 minutes on the floor.

But while both players had their most productive performances of the preseason, it was once again Kris Dunn who stole the show.

In 23 minutes of action, Dunn scored 12 points, handed out five assists, and snared five rebounds while shooting an efficient 5-7 from the field.

Though Dunn’s scoring numbers didn’t compare to either Horton-Tucker or Sexton, the consistency he brings to the Jazz’s offense has been unique throughout the early start of the year.

Dunn has the ability to create shots for himself inside the paint, and though he’s a hesitant three-point shooter, he knocked down 67 percent of his attempts during the preseason.

He’s also the team’s most natural playmaker out of the backcourt and is unquestionably the top perimeter defender on the roster.

Most important, however, is the balance the guard brings to the team’s offense.

Even when Dunn drives into the paint, he keeps his eyes out for his Jazz teammates near the rim, or sitting on the perimeter for open three-point looks.

He can score when the team needs a basket, but he rarely hunts his own shot. Dunn may turn the ball over on occasion, but he’s the most likely Jazzman to force a turnover from the other team.

He’s also a strong rebounder and brings a tangible toughness to the team every time he steps on the floor.

The optics of starting a career journeyman on a one-year, partially guaranteed deal over the likes of Sexton, or Horton-Tucker might be a difficult sell, but right now, Dunn looks like the Jazz’s best point guard.

How Did The Rookies Play?

With the veterans resting both Keyonte George and Taylor Hendricks saw significant playing time against the Kings.

Truthfully, the results were mixed.

George had arguably his best game defensively including two impressive stops in transition where the Jazz rarely found success last season, but shot just 2-12 from the floor including 1-6 from three.

The guard also recorded just one rebound and two assists in 28 minutes.

Hendricks also shot poorly, connecting on just 2-9 attempts including 1-6 from three, but had arguably the most coherent 15 minutes he’s shown on the floor to date.

Though he grabbed only three rebounds during his stints on the court, Hendricks looked more aggressive on the glass, finding better positioning when an opponent’s shot went up.

He also recognized when to space the floor, and seemed to run harder than he had at any point throughout the preseason.

The most promising aspect of Hendricks growth from the first preseason game to the finale was his comfort on the floor.

After looking lost during his first two appearances in Hawaii and Seattle, Hendricks continued to settle into his role on both ends with the Jazz.

It’s the type of growth that should be encouraging for a player who needs reps, and should get plenty in the G League.

Ultimately, Hendricks showed enough flashes with his size, touch, and athleticism to prove he was worthy of a lottery pick, but isn’t ready for real minutes in an NBA rotation.

Furthermore, George showed he’s ready to fight for minutes in the rotation, but hasn’t done enough to be in the conversation as the team’s opening night starter.

Including Brice Sensabaugh who didn’t play against Sacramento, there’s plenty of room for growth among the Jazz’s three rookies. They will get their opportunities, but there will be growing pains along the way.

Jazz Face Kings On Opening Night

The Jazz will face the Kings again on Wednesday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City to open the regular season. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz waive Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook...

Chandler Holt

Utah Jazz Officially Waive Guard Russell Westbrook

The Utah Jazz officially waived Russell Westbrook on Saturday, clearing the way for the veteran guard to join his next team via free agency.

14 hours ago

Utah Jazz guard Isaiah Collier...

Ben Anderson

Jazz Fall To Clippers In Vegas Summer League

The Utah Jazz dropped to 2-2 at the Las Vegas Summer League after falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 105-88.

2 days ago

Russell Westbrook #0 of the LA Clippers reacts against the Utah Jazz...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Trade For Russell Westbrook, Again

For the second time, the Utah Jazz are acquiring Russell Westbrook, this time in a sign and trade for guard Kris Dunn.

3 days ago

Keyonte George NBA Summer League Salt Lake City Utah Jazz...

Chandler Holt

Are NBA Summer League Struggles A Cause For Concern?

The NBA offseason is driven by recency bias and high expectations, with Summer League players feeling that pressure the most.

3 days ago

Utah Jazz forward Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Taylor Hendricks Thrives In Jazz Win Over Raptors

Taylor Hendricks had the best performance of his basketball career against the Toronto Raptors scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

4 days ago

Utah Jazz Houston Rockets Taylor Hendricks...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: Are Jazz Good At Developing Players?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where every week our NBA insiders answer your questions on social media about your favorite team.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Jazz Drop Preseason Finale To Kings