SACRAMENTO -- The Kings propensity for defensive lapses was one of the main reasons for a 101-95 loss to the Jazz on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena.
“We just had bad stretches defensively,” coach George Karl said. “At one point, it was 83-82 (in the fourth quarter) and we got a technical and then we had some bad possessions where we gave up a three-pointer, a jumper, a three-point play and then another three.
Offensively, we could never find a flow or an answer for a pretty good defensive team. We continued to turn the ball over. There were some passing mistakes and we could just never get any good energy offensively.”
Rodney Hood scored 13 points in the fourth quarter en route to a career-high 25 points. Turnovers were once again detrimental to the Kings' effort as 20 Sacramento turnovers were converted into 25 points by the Jazz.
“I think just turnovers killed us tonight,” DeMarcus Cousins acknowledged. “I think there was some frustration. Just a bad loss.”
The Kings (26-50) have six games remaining and frustration is definitely a factor.
“It’s a lot – it’s a lot going on,” Cousins commented on the team's emotions as the season dwindles down. “I think we did a good job playing our style and being aggressive early on. I kind of think we were on our heels a little bit. We just got outplayed tonight.”
Karl also acknowledged the problems brought about by committing 20 turnovers and also allowing the Jazz (35-42) to secure 14 offensive rebounds.
“I don’t think there is any question that this season is very frustrating for a lot of our players,” he said. “When you lose, especially when you lose on your home court, there is a little extra disappointment. Between the turnovers and the rebounds, we gave them around 34 extra possessions. You can give them some, but you can’t give them 34 extra possessions.
Utah isn’t a good offensive team but we gave them enough possessions to where they scored over 100 points. They should’ve never scored 101 points, but they did because our defense had its flaws, but more than anything it was because our offense created bad defense too.”
Cousins delivered his 47th double-double of the season scoring 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds after two consecutive triple-doubles, and may have summed things up best.
“I’m sure a lot of us want to get away from it right now but try to remain professional and just finish it out strong,” the All-Star center said.
DeMarcus Cousins secured yet another double-double, his 47th of the season scoring 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Ben McLemore was 8-for-12 from the floor including 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free throw line and added 20 points.
Sacramento gave up 14 offensive rebounds, missed 10 free throws and committed 20 turnovers which Utah converted into 25 points.
It was the second consecutive game Sacramento missed 10 shots from the charity stripe.
To Cousins’s sentiment on being professional, the Kings effort remains strong but the desired results are lacking.