Kings 98, Jazz 89

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)—With Chris Webber sidelined all season, Peja Stojakovic has become the Sacramento Kings’ go-to guy in the fourth quarter.

He came through again Sunday.

Stojakovic scored 20 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Kings snap a two-game losing streak with a 98-89 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Following a subpar three quarters, Stojakovic made three 3-pointers and a three-point play during a productive four-minute stretch to help the Kings pull away.

“Peja is one of the best shooters, if not the best shooter in the league,” teammate Vlade Divac said. “He understands he is the main guy on this team, especially when we are down.”

Stojakovic looked the part in the fourth quarter. He made three of four 3-pointers and all seven free throws. He finished 10-of-22 from the field and 13-of-14 on free throws.

The Kings took control with a 10-0 fourth-quarter run fueled by Stojakovic, who gave the Kings the lead with a 3-pointer, then hit another to conclude the spurt for a 79-71 lead with 5:47 remaining.

“I got hot, guys were looking for me,” said Stojakovic, who added seven rebounds and a career-high six steals. “I’m not sure why they (shots) weren’t going in the first three quarters.”

Mike Bibby scored 23 points for Sacramento, which has defeated the Jazz five straight times. Doug Christie added nine points and nine rebounds.

Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Carlos Arroyo scored 15 for Utah. Arroyo had six of Utah’s 20 turnovers. The Jazz shot a season-low 17-of-31 from the free throw line.

“We missed a lot from the free throw line, we cant let that happen,” Kirilenko said. “That was one of the key stats. And at the end, we let Stojakovic and Bibby do what they wanted. They made layups, created fouls and made 3-point shots.”

Utah came out strong in the third quarter, using a 17-4 run to take a 65-64 lead into the fourth period.

The game featured a dreary first half with neither team shooting well. Sacramento led 40-32 after its lowest-scoring first half of the season.

“Our guys have to learn how to play with a little more toughness if they are going to compete against good teams,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.“Sometimes they’re happy being close.”

Notes

Jazz F Matt Harpring had one field goal through three quarters and finished 3-of-16. … Kings coach Rick Adelman and Sloan were once teammates together with the Chicago Bulls. … Sacramento has the next five days off before playing the Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles. Kirilenko scored 13third-quarter points but was limited to two points in the fourth quarter.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Utah
A. Kirilenko A. Kirilenko
8-20,  21 Pts
11 Rebs, 4 Assists
 Sacramento
P. Stojakovic P. Stojakovic
10-22,  37 Pts
7 Rebs, 1 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists