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Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins grabs his ankle after being fouled during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Houston. Cousins had to be helped off the floor and left the game. Houston Rockets' Patrick Beverley was assessed a technical foul. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
Utah Jazz: Kings could be without top two scorers
First Published Jan 27 2014 03:04 pm • Last Updated Jan 28 2014 05:44 pm

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.

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"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.


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