Tyrone Corbin on when he made the decision to play Earl Watson in favor of Devin Harris down the stretch: There was no point. It was just he was going good and he was pushing the ball down the floor. Devin had sat for a while. I thought I'd go with him.
Watson playing his best since returning from injury: Yes.
Initial question about playing Watson late: I thought he was going good.
Watson matching up with Isaiah Thomas: I thought he was going good.
Closing with Alec Burks instead of starter C.J. Miles: Yeah. I thought Alec was going good, I thought he was giving us some energy.
Watson on what he said to Cousins before his game-winning free throw: It's nothing. It's basketball. It's fun. It's competing. I was asking how he was doing.
What Cousins said: He said he was doing fine. [Laughs]
Late fouls called on him, one of which set up Cousins' game-winner at line: I don't know about the last two. But I know the last play I had all ball. Unfortunately, the referee was behind the play. He apologized after he called the foul.
Burks and Derrick Favors combined to shoot 4 of 23, while Miles was 0 of 4 with three fouls in 13:33.
Favors on missing multiple putbacks and what troubled him: It's just one of those nights, man. The stuff just rolled out the rim. It ain't nothing' to hold my head down, like I played a bad game or something. Those shots just rolled out and I'll be back tomorrow.
Al Jefferson on Watson closing the game and how the offense ran: We got the shots that we normally get, we just didn't make 'em. Earl always run the offense just as well as Devin.
Bouncing back Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers: It's the NBA, man. We ain't about to go do something that we ain't never did before. We've just got to get our mind together. Ain't nobody going to feel sorry for us that we lost the game tonight.
Miles on giving away the game: We was low on energy. You could see it from everybody on the floor, just trying to get themselves going. … It looked like it just caught up to us a little bit. On the road trip, everybody was talking about the [four-overtime] game, you have to play the next day. You don't feel bad the next day. You don't feel bad until that day off. That day off is when your body takes that time off and your body relaxes and you've got to wake it back up, and now you realize how tired you are.
Jamaal Tinsley didn't play, Watson clocked 28:02 and Harris saw 19:58 of action.
Burks (34:27) ranked third on the Jazz in minutes, playing more than Paul Millsap, Miles and Harris. Burks had another strong game (15 points, four rebounds, two steals), but had a crucial unforced turnover with 15.1 seconds to go and the game tied at 103.
Utah scored just 19 points in the fourth quarter. Harris didn't play during the period.
Sacramento outscored the Jazz 54-42 in the paint and 26-21 on second-chance points.
The Kings won despite missing 10 of their 32 free throws, while Utah won the rebound battle 62-48.
Fifty-six personal fouls were called and Sacramento received three techs.
Keith Smart is right:
"I prefer a guy with fire. We have guys that you’ve got to pump up and put air in to make them play hard and play with passion. [Cousins] is going to grow out of that and know how to manage. … When that man gets to where he is 23 and 24, he’ll settle down with all that and his skills [will] continue to develop."
Cousins has a long way to go. But he's only 21. And if he maximizes his talent, he should be one of the premier inside forces in the NBA during the remainder of the decade. Cousins closed the game Friday, and he singlehandedly bulldozed Utah.
The Jazz's game Saturday at the Clippers suddenly is huge. Denver and Houston are off, and Utah will fall 1.5 games out of a playoff seed if it loses to Los Angeles. The Jazz would then play at Portland on Monday with 13 contests to go.
Jimmer Fredette (four points, 2 of 6, 16:07) was a non-factor and often looked overwhelmed.
Isaiah Thomas (19 points, 6 of 8, six assists, four rebounds, 32:18) is on an entirely different level than Fredette. After watching Fredette up close four games this season, he appears to have regressed instead of evolved.
Sacramento won despite starters Travis Outlaw and Jason Thompson combining for just six points.
Millsap only took three shots during the second half and fouled out with 2:20 to go.
Brian T. Smith
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