Jazz open homestand with struggling Kings

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Updated: February 4, 2013

The Utah Jazz are one of the top home teams in the Western
Conference and will play three in a row in Salt Lake City, starting with
Monday’s test versus the Sacramento Kings.

Utah is coming off a split of a home-and-home series with the Portland Trail
Blazers and dropped a 105-99 decision on Saturday. Randy Foye connected on 6-
of-12 3-pointers and tied a season high with 23 points, while Paul Millsap
finished with 18 points and Marvin Williams totaled 15 for the Jazz, who have
split their last six games.

The Jazz blew a 63-53 advantage in the second half and Blazers went ahead with
a subsequent 14-0 burst.

“We played hard. We made some mistakes. We had the 10-point lead but got away
from executing a little bit and they made a run at us,” Utah coach Tyrone
Corbin said. “I felt good about our opportunity to come back, but we just
couldn’t get over the hump.”

Gordon Hayward missed his fourth straight game for Utah with a sprained right
shoulder and is doubtful versus the Kings. He is averaging 13.5 ppg this
season.

Utah is 17-5 at home and will also entertain Milwaukee and Chicago.

Meanwhile, the Kings will wrap up a six-game road swing Monday and are just
1-4 so far on the sojourn. In a 120-81 demolition at the hands of the New York
Knicks Saturday night from Madison Square Garden, DeMarcus Cousins had 25
points and nine rebounds in defeat.

Jimmer Fredette scored 14 points for the Kings, who lost despite holding
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to nine points. J.R. Smith led New York with 25
points off the bench.

“We’ll move on, it will just be an L in the column,” said Kings coach Keith
Smart. “Regardless of how it looked out there, its going to be an L and we
move and get ready for our next ball game.”

Sacramento is 5-20 away from home and will return to California’s capital for
two straight games versus Utah and Houston later this week.

The Kings and Jazz split a home-and-home set back in late November, while Utah
has won six of the past 10 in the series. Sacramento, which will host Utah
this Saturday, has lost nine of 11 and 11 of its last 15 trips to Salt Lake
City.