UTAH JAZZ

Keegan Murray Torches Jazz In Loss To Kings

Dec 16, 2023, 11:06 PM

Keegan Murray of the Sacramanto Kings...

Keegan Murray of the Sacramanto Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Keegan Murray scored 47 points as the Sacramento Kings easily dismissed the Utah Jazz 125-104.

Murray scored 47 points including 12 made threes as the Kings led by as many as 30 in the second half.

The Jazz were led by Collin Sexton who scored 28 points in the loss.

Keegan Murray Has Historic Night

Murray etched his name into both the Jazz and Kings history books with his incredible performance on Saturday night.

The forward became just the seventh player in NBA history to knock down 12 threes in a game, joining Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Kobe Bryant, Zach LaVine, and Donyell Marshall.

Lillard, LaVine, and Curry each have games with 13 made threes, while Thompson owns the record with 14 makes.

Murray’s 80 percent completion rate is the highest ever for a player to knock down at least 12 threes in a game.

Furthermore, Murray’s 26 points in the third quarter are the most ever for a Kings player, and are tied for the third-most by a Jazz opponent.

Bryant scored 30 points in the third quarter of a game against the Jazz in 2006, Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 in the fourth quarter of a 2009 contest, while both Lillard and Joel Embiid have matched Murray’s 26.

Finally, Murray is the Jazz opponent ever to make double-digit threes in a game.

Should Collin Sexton Continue To Start?

Traditionally athletes don’t lose their jobs due to injury, but Collin Sexton is making a strong argument to take one of the starting backcourt spots regardless of when Keyonte George and Jordan Clarkson return to the lineup.

Over his last three appearances, Sexton is averaging 27 points per game as he’s made his first three starts of the season. The guard is shooting 58 percent from the floor and 37 percent from three, and has led the Jazz in scoring in all three contests.

George is out for an undetermined amount of time after suffering a foot injury in Tuesday’s win over the New York Knicks, while Clarkson will be out until after Christmas, but both have had their struggles this season, even when healthy.

Clarkson is shooting career lows from both the floor (40 percent) and the three-point line (29 percent), while George is converting just 36 percent of his field goal attempts and 32 percent of his threes.

Hardy has also set a precedent that players aren’t guaranteed to regain their starting jobs just because they fall out of the rotation due to an injury.

Second-year center Walker Kessler started the first eight games of the season for the Jazz, had to step away from the court due to an elbow injury, and after missing seven games, has started only once in his last 10 appearances.

With Clarkson out for at least the next 10 days, the Jazz coaching staff has several games before they’ll have to decide on who to start in the backcourt going forward. But, if Sexton continues to play the way he has in his last three appearances, it might not be a difficult choice to make.

Nighty Awards: Jazz vs. Kings

The “Sophomore Slump” Award:

Goes to both Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji who have had underwhelming second seasons in Utah to stay the least, and were nearly non-existent against the Kings.

Kessler failed to attempt a field goal against the Kings and was a team-worst -28 in just 18 minutes off the bench.

Agbaji shot just 2-7 for five points and was front-and-center guarding Keegan Murray for long stretches of his 47-point outburst.

Both players had strong enough rookie seasons to believe they’ll find their footing once again, but the first 25 games of the season have not been kind to the sophomores.

Utah Jazz Next Opponent

The Jazz will face the Nets on Monday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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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.

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Keegan Murray Torches Jazz In Loss To Kings