Utah Jazz drop 104-103 duel to Sacramento Kings

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 10:03 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's last-gasp, potential go-ahead tip-in basket was reviewed by the officials and was ruled after the final buzzer, and the Jazz dropped a frustrating 104-103 decision to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

After Al Jefferson's putback basket put Utah ahead 103-101, Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas was fouled and hit two free throws to tie it at 103 with 31.6 seconds remaining.

Jazz rookie Alec Burks then turned the ball over with 15 seconds left, and the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins was fouled on a drive to the basket and hit 1 of 2 free throws to put Sacramento ahead 104-103 with 3.8 seconds to go.

Following a Utah timeout, the Jazz in-bounded the ball to Gordon Hayward, who drove hard to the basket and put up an off-balance shot, which missed badly. Derrick Favors' tip-in try came up short, and Jefferson's second tip-in attempt bounced around and dropped through the basket after the final buzzer had sounded.

After officials looked at the replay, though, they correctly ruled that Jefferson's tip was touched by the Jazz big man after time had already expired, giving the Kings the rare road win.

Jefferson finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds for Utah (27-25), which saw its seven-game home winning streak snapped and suffered a frustrating defeat in its efforts to climb in the Western Conference playoff race.

Hayward had 19 points, Burks 15, Paul Millsap 12 and Devin Harris 11 for Utah, while Earl Watson contributed nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench and Favors had 14 rebounds — but went 0 of 13 from the field.

For Sacramento (18-33), Cousins finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, Marcus Thornton added 26 points and Thomas had 19 with six assists. For the Kings, the win snapped a four-game losing streak and gave them just their fifth road win of the season against 22 losses.

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com

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