SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Down three starters and behind by 20 points in the fourth quarter, the Sacramento Kings tried to foul their way back into the game.
It almost worked.
Derrick Favors had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Marvin Williams added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and the Jazz held off the depleted Kings 106-99 on Monday night.
"If you build a lead like that then it's easier when you have some lapses down the stretch. You have a little room for error," Utah forward Gordon Hayward said.
Enes Kanter added 16 points and Jeremy Evans tied a career high with 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Jazz took advantage of injuries that have left Sacramento without frontcourt starters DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay for the past three games.
"We had a size advantage so we wanted to mix up plays with the pick-and-rolls. I thought the two guys, Derrick and Enes, did a good job of getting in low position and made some good passes when they didn't have a chance to make a play for themselves," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.
In addition to Cousins and Gay being out, Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas left in the third quarter with an illness.
"Some of our guys were like, 'Oh boy, what are we going to do now?' Now we have Isaiah, Rudy and DeMarcus all out. It was shellshock," Sacramento coach Mike Malone said.
The Kings resorted to Plan B — foul as much as possible — and that shocked the Jazz.
"I'm going to do everything I can to extend the game and give us a chance to win. They were having their way with us, but we always try to identify certain guys who may be poor free throw shooters," Malone said.
After the Jazz sent their starters to the bench with the game seemingly in hand, the Kings mounted an unlikely comeback that fell just short. Sacramento trimmed a 20-point lead to five in the final minute but came up empty on three of its final four possessions.
"Whew, that was closer than it needed to be," Evans said.
Jason Thompson scored a season-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Kings, who lost their fourth consecutive game. Derrick Williams had 17 points and 15 boards.
The Jazz set an NBA season high with 53 free throw attempts. Utah went 12 for 25 at the line in the fourth quarter, allowing the Kings to make things interesting.