SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Huerter hit a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left and the Sacramento Kings held off Utah 126-125 on Friday night when Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen missed a jumper in the final seconds.
“You can mistake some of these regular-season games for playoffs just with the energy they bring,” Kings coach Mike Brown said after the game.
Huerter scored a career-high 30 points to help Sacramento improve to 19-15, with Brown returning after missing the past two games because of COVID-19. Domantas Sabonis had 28 points on 12-for-12 shooting along with 11 rebounds and eight assists, and De’Aaron Fox had 24 points and 10 assists.
“I feel like he’s been doing that all year,” Sabonis said about Fox. “That’s what he does. He’s been clutch for us all year. He can get any shot that he wants, and he’s been making the right read every time.”
Markkanen scored 36 points for Utah (19-19). Jordan Clarkson had 25 points and nine assists, and Mike Conley scored 17 points.
“He’s a matchup nightmare,” Kelly Olynyk said about Markkanen. “He’s shooting the ball unbelievably the whole season really … He’s tough to guard. You can’t take away one thing.”
The Jazz took their first lead of the game at 94-91 with 10:13 left in the fourth quarter on a 3 by Conley. There were 12 lead changes.
“Tough finish,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “Our guys hung in all game and battled. …to be able to come back late and take the lead, showed a lot of resolve from our group.”
Jazz: The Jazz dropped to .500 for the first time this season. … Utah is 7-14 on the road.
Kings: KZ Okpala received a flagrant foul after kneeing Walker Kessler in the stomach on a drive to the basket in the first half. …Fox scored 10 points or more in the 4th quarter for the fourth straight game.
Jazz: Host Miami on Saturday night
Kings: At Memphis on Sunday night.