UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Attempt To Even Score With Sacramento Kings In Third Quarter

Oct 25, 2023, 9:02 PM

Utah Jazz Sacramento Kings Jordan Clarkson...

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - OCTOBER 25: Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz shoots over De'Aaron Fox #5 and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half of a game at Delta Center on October 25, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz fought hard to come back from a first-half deficit against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter.

The Jazz trailed the Kings by 14 at halftime. They were able to lower the lead to single-digits at one point, but couldn’t make up much ground overall.

The Jazz opened the second half with some quick offense.

Lauri Markkanen, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Walker Kessler got on the board early in the quarter.

Kessler also showed off his defensive chops with a block on Kings All-Star Domantas Sabonis.

John Collins looked great in his Utah Jazz debut.

He was the first Jazzman to reach double-digit points while also showing off his all-around game.

In spite of the positives, defensive issues shined through for the home team.

Late rotations and wide-open shooters hurt Utah’s chances of making a second-half comeback.

How Did THT Win Starting Job For Utah Against Sacramento?

After much discussion throughout the offseason about who would win the job, Talen Horton-Tucker will be starting for the Utah Jazz in their season opener.

Coach Will Hardy announced the decision during his pregame availability as the Jazz prepared to take on the Sacramento Kings to tip off their 50th season.

Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Walker Kessler will join Horton-Tucker in the Jazz starting lineup.

During Jazz training camp Hardy compared the Jazz guard depth to the “Hunger Games” — a battle royal to earn minutes in the team’s rotation.

Though the Jazz’s coach waited until opening night to officially name Horton-Tucker the starter, there were signs throughout the preseason that the 22-year-old had a leg-up on the job.

Horton-Tucker was the only Jazz guard to start all five preseason games, and was the team’s second-leading minute-getter.

In nearly 22 minutes a night, the Iowa State product averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 36 percent from three.

Despite his strong offensive numbers, it’s on the defensive end where the Jazz coaching staff wants see Horton-Tucker shine.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Utah Jazz Attempt To Even Score With Sacramento Kings In Third Quarter