Sacramento Kings vs.Utah Jazz
Tip-off: Monday, February 4, 2013 – 9:00 PM ET
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
YouWager experts believe that the Utah Jazz have regained the defensive form that keyed their recent dominance in Salt Lake City. Tonight the Sacramento Kings will have to deal with that and much more as they try to bounce back from the current road trip offense failures.
While Utah (26-22) has lost both road games during a current stretch with 10 of 12 in Salt Lake City, they’ve won six of those first seven while playing at home.
The Jazz have been better defensively when playing in Utah, limiting the Portland Trail Blazers to 36.7 percent shooting in an 86-77 victory on Friday before allowing Portland to shoot 50.7 percent in a 105-99 defeat away from home a day later.
Aside from a franchise-record 45-point defeat against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 28, Utah has allowed just 93.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting in their last eight home games.
Even so, the Jazz have given up 99.8 points per game and 50.8 percent shooting in its last 11 away from home.
Utah would certainly like to further their winning ways at home against the punchless Sacramento team, who has averaged 80.7 points on 39.7 percent shooting while losing three straight on their current six-game swing.
The Kings (17-32) are 5-20 away from home, but have proven to be a challenge for Utah lately. Sacramento has taken four of the last seven meetings, winning 108-97 at home Nov. 24.
This NBA team also had a 13-point fourth-quarter lead at Utah a day earlier before Gordon Hayward hit a tiebreaking jumper with 4.5 seconds left to give the Jazz a 104-102 victory.
Tyreke Evans has scored 23.7 per game while shooting 52.7 percent in his last three against Utah, including a 27-point effort in the last meeting.
However, Evans would like to recover after finishing with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in a 120-81 defeat versus the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins broke out of his recent slump with 25 points and nine rebounds in that game versus New York. The 22 year-old had averaged 11.5 points over his previous six games.
Even when Sacramento has struggled as of late they have also shot a combined 51.9 percent from the floor and 16 for 33 (48.5 percent) from 3-point range in the two meetings with Utah.