Utah (38-24) at Sacramento (25-36)
When: Sunday, March 5th 2017
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Time: 6:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
The Sacramento Kings will try and stay in the playoff race when they host the first place Utah Jazz on Sunday night at Golden 1 Center. The Kings have fallen three games behind Denver for the final spot in the Western Conference after losing four of their last five games as the void left by DeMarcus Cousins is really hurting. Center Kosta Koufos missed all seven of his shots in 25 scoreless minutes Wednesday night in a 109-100 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Sacramento has dropped three in a row by an average of 12.3 points and are 1-3 on their current five-game homestand that concludes tonight. Buddy Hield, the primary piece in the trade that sent Cousins to New Orleans last month, scored 16 points in the loss to the Nets and is averaging 13.8 while shooting 51.3% since the deal. Veteran Ty Lawson had 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting in a 94-93 win at Utah in December. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo scored 14 points against Brooklyn after missing the previous three games with a hamstring injury. The Kings will get a shot at Denver Monday night when they visit the Nuggets to start a two-game road trip.
The Jazz were routed 107-80 to the sub-.500 Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, which stands as the most lopsided home defeat of the season, but they bounced back with a 15-point win over Brooklyn two nights later. Guard George Hill’s efforts in the two games mirrored his team, as he followed up a two-point showing versus the Timberwolves with a season-high 34 on Friday against the Nets. Forward Gordon Hayward is averaging 27 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games versus the Kings this season but is coming off a 12-point effort against Brooklyn. He has been held under 20 points in three straight games for the second time this season, although he does have 13 assists, seven steals and just one turnover in that stretch. Starting guard Rodney Hood (knee) has missed two straight games and replacement Joe Ingles hit 4-of-7 from 3-point range versus the Nets. Center Rudy Gobert entered Saturday ranked fourth in the NBA with 42 double-doubles but has gone two straight games without recording one.
The Jazz seem to play down to their competition and even though they’re much better than Sacramento, they might struggle here tonight. The Kings are 14-6-2 ATS in the last 22 versus Utah and the Jazz are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games against teams with a losing home record. Utah wins by single-digits.
Pick: Kings +9.5
HEAD TO HEAD
Trends courtesy of SportsOptions.com – an UltimateCapper.com partner