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And the Kings.
Despite scoring 22 points and grabbing 18 rebounds, Sacramento forward DeMarcus Cousins was just 9 of 28 from the field. The moody second-year big man was supposed to guard Jefferson on the final play. But once Harris’ pass was floated, Big Al said he was left "butt-naked."
HighlightIn short » The Jazz down Sacramento on Al Jefferson’s tip-in floater with 0.9 seconds to go.
Key stat » Five Utah players hit double figures in scoring, led by a game-high 26 from Jefferson.
Key moment » Devin Harris draws the Kings’ defense, then floats it to Jefferson for the game-winner.
"I caught myself coming over and trying to make a difficult shot for Devin Harris, which put me out of position and put Al Jefferson in position to get an easy putback, so I’ll take [the blame for] the loss," Cousins said.
While the young and talented Kings forward continued to mix progress with backward steps — after exchanging words midgame with Harris, Cousins said afterward he plans to "solve" whatever the Jazz guard’s "issue" is — all Jefferson could talk about was evolution.
Utah is stacking up playoff-worthy wins by blending veteran poise with thrilling youth. Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Burks are carrying the same weight as trusted pros such as Paul Millsap and Jamaal Tinsley. And Jefferson believes the Jazz are building something that’s only just begun.
"This is going to be a great team one day. … I take my hat off to [Utah General Manager] Kevin O’Connor — he went and got some great guys," Jefferson said. "If I’m with them or I’m not, this is going to be a great team one day."
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