The Utah Jazz were a step slow against the Sacramento Kings

The Utah Jazz fought but were ultimately outmatched and outshot on Saturday night.
December 16, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) shoots the
December 16, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) shoots the / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz entered their game against the Sacramento Kings on a 2 game-winning streak, but very shorthanded - missing Jordan Clarkson, John Collins, Keyonte George, and Omer Yurtseven due to illness or injury.

The Kings were missing a key player of their own - All-Star guard De'Aaron Fox, who is their leading scorer and the engine that makes their high-powered offense hum. Would the Jazz be able to take advantage?

Early on, the Kings played fast and opened up a double-digit lead, before the Jazz recovered to cut the lead down to single digits. The Kings led by 12 after one and 12 again at the half, despite the Jazz's best efforts, they seemed a bit slow on defensive rotations and gave up a lot of open looks.

Keegan Murray would take full advantage of this in the 3rd Quarter.

Murray, a 2nd-year player who averages 13.8 points as a starting forward for the Kings, had 19 at the half and was hitting 3's from everywhere. In the 3rd quarter alone, he scored 23 points, 21 of those on 3-pointers, as the Kings opened up a 30-point lead.

To the credit of the Utah Jazz, they didn't give up in this one and kept fighting, as they closed it to 14 points before Sacramento woke up and pushed it back to 20 at the 4-minute mark before both teams emptied their benches. The final score was 125-104 in favor of the Sacramento Kings.

Keegan Murray finished with a career-high 47 points, to lead Sacramento while Domantas Sabonis had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Collin Sexton had 28 points to lead the Jazz, his 4th straight 20-point game this year. Lauri Markkanen had 18 points, 6 boards, and 3 assists. Taylor Hendricks had 12 points, 3 rebounds, and a steal and was involved in multiple positive plays as he continues to grow with more minutes.

Another bright spot was Kelly Olynyk, who had 9 points, 5 rebounds, and a career-high 13 assists. He stepped up as a facilitator tonight.

The Utah Jazz return home to play the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night before resuming their road trip with games against Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto over the next week.

dark. Next. Trade Season for the Jazz. Trading season has begun, who will the Utah Jazz look to deal?