SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—The Sacramento Kings have found a nice second home in Utah.
The Kings shot nearly 60 percent in winning their seventh straight regular-season game in Salt Lake City, ending Utah’s unbeaten start at home with a 118-110 victory over the Jazz on Wednesday night.
Sacramento was just 1-4 on the road entering the game.
“I got scared actually,” said Peja Stojakovic, who led the Kings with 30 points. “In the last few games on the road, we’ve been ahead … but ended up getting cold in the fourth quarter and losing.”
Not this time.
The Kings shot 23-for-37 (62 percent) from the floor in the first half and never trailed in winning for the fourth time in five games. Sacramento cooled off slightly in the second half but still shot 40-for-69 in the game and held off several late runs by the Jazz.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who can fill it up on this team,” said Sacramento’s Brad Miller, who had 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
Mike Bibby finished with 18 points, Anthony Peeler scored 15 off the bench and Vlade Divac added 12 points for Sacramento, which knocked Utah out in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons.
Carlos Arroyo had 25 points and eight assists and DeShawn Stevenson scored 21 for the Jazz, who had all five starters score in double figures for the second straight game but received hardly any help from the bench. Jazz reserves combined for just 12 points.
“Every mistake we made, they capitalized,” Stevenson said. “They’ve got real good shooters. They just kept shooting and they kept going in—all of them. It was tough for us. We’d make a bucket, then make a mistake and they’d capitalize with a 3.”
Utah cut Sacramento’s 15-point lead to one in the third quarter, but Arroyo missed a free throw that would have converted a three-point play and tied it at 72.
“You’re not just going to hold them the whole time,” Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. “When a team gradually comes back on the road, there is not much you can do. I was pleased with the way we responded.”
The Jazz got another chance late in the fourth when Sacramento’s Bobby Jackson drew two technicals and was ejected with 4:24 left. Arroyo, who drew the initial foul, made a free throw, then Kirilenko came in and made both shots on the technicals.
Arroyo made it a four-point swing with the second free throw to make it 105-100, but that was as close as the Jazz got.
Bibby hit a jumper, then Miller—courted by the Jazz last summer—hit a shot during a 6-0 Kings run that all but sealed it.
“They just picked us apart with what they wanted to do,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “We couldn’t sustain anything. We looked like we wereintimidated.”
Utah was called for two defensive three-second violations in the first quarter. … Tony Massenburg, who played for Utah last season, got a small ovation when he entered late in the first quarter. He finished with four points and two rebounds. … Jazz forward Keon Clark will have surgery for a bone spurin his right ankle Monday.