UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Heat Up In Second Quarter After Slow Start In Sacramento

Dec 16, 2023, 8:59 PM

Lauri-Markkanen-Utah-Jazz-NBA-Grizzlies-Kings...

Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz slam dunks against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Chase Center on November 25, 2022 in San Francisco, California. 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO – The road woes of the Utah Jazz looked to be back against the Sacramento Kings until a second-quarter run brought the Jazz back within striking distance.

Utah trailed by 12 at the end of the first, 35-23.

A 12-3 run over the next five minutes brought the Jazz within three.

Five different Jazzmen scored during the run. Collin Sexton and Simone Fontecchio led the Jazz in scoring early.

That duo combined for 19 of Utah’s first 36 points.

With Lauri Markkanen on a minutes restriction and other playmakers out with injury, Utah struggled to keep up with a potent Kings offense.

All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis dominated the Jazz in the paint. In 15 minutes, he had 14 points on a perfect 7/7 from the floor.

The Kings reopened a double-digit lead as they responded to the Jazz run with one of their own.

Jazz Shorthanded Against Kings

The Jazz were missing several bodies when they faced the Kings as an illness made its way through the team’s locker room.

John Collins, Omer Yurtseven, and Luka Samanic were all out due to the illness. Talen Horton-Tucker was listed as questionable due to an illness, but was upgraded to available shortly before tip-off.

Lauri Markkanen returned to the lineup after missing the Jazz’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

Markkanen had missed eight consecutive games due to a hamstring strain but returned to the lineup in Tuesday’s win over the New York Knicks.

The Jazz came in on a two-game winning streak for the third time this season and were looking for their first three-game winning streak against Sacramento.

Kings All-Star guard De’Aaron Fox missed the game with a shoulder injury.

Entering the game Sacramento owned the fifth-best record in the Western Conference at 14-9, while the Jazz were ranked 12th at 9-16.

The two teams met on the opening night of the regular season with the Kings winning 130-114 in Salt Lake City.

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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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