Utah Jazz: Short-handed Kings turn to Jimmer during loss in Utah
Jimmer Fredette's second appearance in Utah this season was considerably more noticeable than the first.
Fredette finished with eight points, two assists and two rebounds Monday night during the Jazz's 106-99 victory over Sacramento at EnergySolutions Arena
In the Kings' first visit a 112-102 win on Dec. 7 Fredette never got off the bench.
In the rematch, however, Sacramento lost starting point Isaiah Thomas to a stomach ailment in the third quarter.
Fredette ended up playing almost 13 minutes, including the final seven, when the Kings rallied from a 20-point deficit.
"You just go out and play the best you can and keep working hard," Fredette said.
The Kings' demise started when the Jazz broke away from a 50-50 tie in the third quarter and grabbed an 81-70 lead.
"They came out and played a lot harder than we did," Fredette said. "They got a lead â¦ and we didn't play well [to] that point. We made an effort to come back, but it was too late."
Already playing without center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Rudy Gay because of injuries, Sacramento lost Thomas during the Jazz's big third quarter.
Said coach Mike Malone: "When Isaiah had to leave the game, some of our guys were like, 'Oh boy. What are we going to do now?' Now we have Isaiah, Rudy and DeMarcus all out.' It was like shell shock."
Jason Thompson led the Kings with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Derrick Williams finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
"Sometimes it's tough," said Williams. "At the same time, there's a reason you have 15 guys in the locker room. Injuries are going to happen in this league."
Cousins, who averages 22.6 points and 11.6 rebounds, did not make the trip to Utah because of a sprained ankle.
Gay, who averages 20.1 points, tested a strained Achilles tendon before the game. But he could not play.
"As I said a few days ago, if we wasn't feeling confident, I wasn't going to put him in the position to jeopardize it further," Malone said. "He tried to warm up see how it felt and it didn't feel right. So we'll give him another day to rest."
The Kings, who slipped 15-29 this season, play host to Memphis on Wednesday night.
"Hopefully, [Gay] will be ready," Malone said.
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