The Jazz’s 106-99 victory over Sacramento on Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena was an inside job.
Derrick Favors scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Enes Kanter added 16 points to lead Utah past the Kings, who played without injured center DeMarcus Cousins.
» Derrick Favors finishes with 17 points and 12 rebounds in the Jazz’s 106-99 win over Sacramento.
» Enes Kanter scores 10 of his 16 points in the first half to help Utah survive a slow start.
Favors and Kanter dominated the game into the fourth quarter, before Sacramento rallied in the final seven minutes.
The Kings couldn’t overcome a 92-72 deficit, however, and the Jazz won back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month.
"We just wanted to come out there and execute our game plan — attack the paint — and try to win," said Favors, who finished with his 15th double-double in 42 games this season.
Gordon Hayward ended up with 12 points and six assists and, according to Favors, was a key in the third quarter. That’s when the Jazz snapped a 50-50 tie and grabbed an 81-70 lead.
"We just moved the ball," Favors said. "[Hayward] did a good job finding the open guy on the pick-and-rolls and we made some shots."
Said Sacramento coach Mike Malone: "Something happened at halftime. I can’t explain it. We had no energy to start the third quarter. ... They were running the pick-and-roll [and] we had poor weakside awareness."
Without Cousins, Malone went with a small starting lineup that didn’t include a true center.
Instead, he tried to stretch the floor with a frontcourt of Derrick Williams, Jason Thompson and Travis Outlaw.
It worked for awhile.
"It’s kind of hard to defend teams that use small-ball because they usually have an extra perimeter shooter," Favors said. "But I thought we did a pretty good job against them."
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin liked the way his post players took advantage of the Kings, who also played without forward Rudy Gay because of a strained Achilles.
"We had a size advantage," he said, "so want wanted to mix plays with the pick-and-rolls and going inside. ...
"The thought Derrick and Enes did a good job of getting low position. They made some good passes out of there and made some shots of their own."
Favors had six points and six rebounds in the first quarter, when his teammates were struggling.
In the third quarter, Favors scored six points during an 18-10 run that gave the Jazz a 74-62 lead.
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