GUARDS: Devin Harris and C.J. Miles both started for the Jazz, but you wouldn't know it by who was playing when it mattered. Neither played in the fourth quarter. Harris, who had 11 points and four assists, had his minutes go to Earl Watson. Miles did nothing. Almost literally. He didn't score and had one rebound and one assist in 13 minutes. Rookie Isaiah Thomas showed why Jimmer Fredette is on the Sacramento bench with an outstanding game. Underrated Marcus Thornton lit the Jazz up for 26 points.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap had 12 points and blocked DeMarcus Cousins' shot three times before fouling out. Gordon Hayward missed a potentially game-winning shot, but finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Jason Thompson and Travis Outlaw did little for the Kings, combining to shoot 1-for-10.
CENTERS: This game was all about the big guys, as Cousins and Al Jefferson were huge offensively. Jefferson missed three free throws in the fourth quarter, and that was costly. Cousins, meanwhile, tied the game at 101-101 with a three-point play and scored the game-winning point at the free-throw line.
BENCH: Coach Tyrone Corbin must have liked what he saw from Watson because he played him the entire fourth quarter. Watson had seven assists and seven rebounds to go along with nine points. Derrick Favors made the wrong kind of history for the Jazz, setting a franchise record for missing the most shots without making a field goal. He was 0-for-13. Alec Burks scored 15 points, but had a costly mistake when he dribbled out of bounds with the score tied 103-103 with 15.1 seconds remaining. Utah's bench outscored Sacramento's 34-26, but that isn't saying much because the Kings don't have much of a bench.
OVERALL: This defeat rivals the loss to Toronto in double overtime as the worst defeat of the season for Utah. It may come back to haunt the Jazz if they miss the playoffs, and the reasons for the loss were obvious. Sacramento played with more energy and urgency. The Jazz had trouble attacking the Kings' zone defense. And with so much on the line in terms of playoff positioning, it's inexcusable that the Jazz were so flat.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company