Utah Jazz: Kings could be without top two scorers
Published: January 27, 2014 05:14PM
Updated: January 28, 2014 05:44PM
FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2014, file photo, New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans. The Pelicans' star big man would like to represent host-city New Orleans at next month's All-Star game, and his performance in his second pro season has made him a solid candidate. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The Utah Jazz will face a depleted Sacramento Kings team tonight at EnergySolutions Arena, but just how depleted remains to be seen.

Sacramento’s leading scorer, DeMarcus Cousins, did not make the trip to Utah due to an ankle injury, the Sacramento Bee reported, and the Kings’ second-leading scorer, Rudy Gay, is a game-time decision after missing last night’s game with an Achilles injury.

“I think you just prepare for a little bit of everything,” Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said after the team’s Monday morning shootaround. “And it allows you to concentrate on yourself a little bit and that’s really what we need to work on anyway.”

If both Cousins and Gay do not play, Sacramento (15-28) would be missing more than 42 points from its lineup. But the Jazz remain wary of the Kings’ other scoring threats.

“Obviously when you lose two players of that magnitude the game definitely does change,” said Jazz forward Marvin Williams. “But with Sacramento, they’ve got guys who are willing to step up into those roles. We can’t take the night off. We can’t relax.”

Jazz rookie Trey Burke will be tasked with trying to slow down one of those threats: point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 20 points a game.

“A lot of times when DeMarcus is playing, they go to him and play off of him,” Burke said. “With him out, I’ll be ready for Isaiah Thomas to be much more aggressive. Their two-guards and their wing players are going to be a lot more aggressive without their scoring presence down low.”

The Jazz (15-29) are coming off a 104-101 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday.

The Kings, meanwhile, played Sunday night against the Nuggets and will be playing their fifth game in seven nights.


Twitter: @tribjazz

Jazz vs. Kings

Monday, 7 p.m.

TV: ROOT Sports