Jazz 104, Kings 102

Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin shuffled his lineup again, making
Marvin Williams a starter. He also left Gordon Hayward in a reserve
role.

It sure worked out Friday night.

Hayward scored 23 points, including the winning basket with 4.5
seconds left, and the Jazz rallied for a 104-102 victory over the
Sacramento Kings.

Williams added 20 points, including 7 of 7 from the line – part
of a huge disparity that played a key role in Utah’s rally. The
Jazz trailed by 13 with 8 1/2 minutes left.

”I thought we won with a lot of grit, gut, staying together,”
Corbin said.

Utah’s big rally was even more impressive considering starting
point guard Mo Williams sprained his right ankle in the first half
and was in a walking boot after the game.

The Jazz stepped up their defense, got aggressive at the other
end, and made the most out of their opportunities at the line.

”We got stops, we rebounded and we attacked,” said Al
Jefferson, who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Kings had one final shot but James Johnson’s running jumper
at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the rim and the Jazz (7-6)
remained perfect at home.

”It says a lot that we were down by a lot, knowing that we
didn’t hold our heads down,” said Jamaal Tinsley, who teamed with
reserve Earl Watson to pick up the slack when Mo Williams went out
midway through the second quarter.

Tyreke Evans led Sacramento (3-9) with 19 points and reserve
Marcus Thornton added 18, including 13 in the final period.

Tinsley missed his final shot after Thornton had tied it at 102
with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining. But Tinsley stole the
ball back from point guard Aaron Brooks with 15 seconds to go,
setting the stage for Hayward’s big shot.

The 34-year-old Tinsley prides himself in playing good
defense.

”The last nine minutes we just came out and gave it our all,”
said Tinsley, who had 12 assists, six rebounds and two steals.

The Kings were left shaking their heads, wondering what went
wrong.

”I don’t know,” Evans said. ”No way we should have lost that
game being up by a big margin.”

The Kings led 92-79 with 8 1/2 minutes left but couldn’t hold
on. Hayward, Marvin Williams, Derrick Favors, Tinsley, Jefferson
and DeMarre Carroll each played a key role in Utah’s comeback.
Favors finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and a pair of blocked
shots.

Carroll’s fast-break layup ignited the crowd, and Jefferson had
a key steal against DeMarcus Cousins with the Jazz down just
three.

Jefferson’s putback gave Utah a 102-99 lead but Thornton tied it
with a 3-pointer, only to have Tinsley make the key defensive play
against Brooks and set Hayward up for the winner.

”We turned the ball over, unfinished plays, everything we had
done to get in that position on the road, in this building against
a good team where you don’t win that often,” Kings coach Keith
Smart said. ”Too much one-on-one and it cost us the game.”

The rally spoiled another homecoming for former Brigham Young
star Jimmer Fredette, who was making his third professional visit
to Utah. Fredette hit three 3-pointers and finished with 10 points,
enduring a mix of cheers and boos.

While he earned more playing time Friday than he had seen in the
previous three games combined, the loss was what mattered.

”It just crumbled for us,” Fredette said.

Corbin was most proud of the defense.

”You get some stops and you feed off them,” he said. ”You get
plays that make your team feel the momentum change. One leads to
another and you close down a little bit. The guys just feed off
each other.”

NOTES: The teams turn around and play Saturday in Sacramento.
… Watson was active for the first time since tearing cartilage in
his right knee April 8, then undergoing season-ending surgery later
that month. He finished with two assists and two rebounds, and had
a crowd-pleasing alley-oop pass to Hayward in the fourth. …
Cousins started slowly and finished with 14 points for the Kings,
but he also had four turnovers and made key fouls late on Utah’s
guards.