Hood's big fourth quarter lifts Jazz over Kings 101-95
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Rodney Hood is showing no lingering effects from the concussion that sidelined him for a game earlier this week.
If anything, the Utah rookie is playing some of his best basketball of the season.
Hood scored 13 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Jazz pulled away to beat the Sacramento Kings 101-95 on Sunday night.
''It's been a long season and tough season for me,'' said Hood, who went 9 of 17 from the floor. ''I am getting more and more comfortable every single game. I'm just learning from past games and trying to be aggressive.''
The Jazz were clinging to an 83-82 lead with 6:10 remaining when Hood scored the first nine points of a 14-2 run. He had a pair of three-point plays and a 3-pointer during the streak, then later made a 17-foot jumper to give Utah a 99-88 lead.
''He's been tremendous for us this year when he's been on the court,'' said Utah's Trevor Booker of Hood. ''He's a scorer, he makes things happen and he got it going tonight.''
Rudy Gobert added 10 points and nine rebounds, Derrick Favors scored 11 and Jeremy Evans had 10 points off the bench for the Jazz.
Utah (35-42) bounced back from a disappointing two-point loss in Phoenix 24 hours earlier and withstood another stellar effort from Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins to beat the Kings for the second time this season.
Cousins, who was coming off back-to-back triple-doubles, had 26 points and 12 rebounds but also picked up his 14th technical foul of the year.
It was that kind of night for the Kings, who committed 20 turnovers, were beaten on the boards and generally outhustled most of the night.
''We just had a bad stretch defensively,'' Sacramento coach George Karl said. ''Utah's not a great offensive team but we gave them enough possessions that they scored 100 points. They did because our defense had its flaws but more importantly, our offense created bad defense.''
Hood was a big reason for that.
The 23rd overall pick in the draft, Hood scored seven points in the first quarter, two in the second and three in the third before his scoring outburst in the fourth.
Utah opened the period with a 7-2 run to go up 83-75. Sacramento responded with seven consecutive points and was on a roll when Derrick Williams was called for a technical foul. Hood made the ensuing free throw, kicking off the Jazz's big run.
Ben McLemore had 20 points and four assists for the Kings, who have lost five straight.
Cousins had 13 points in the first half, including five as part of a 9-0 run by Sacramento midway through the second quarter.
GOBERT HOLDS UP
Utah's 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert had one of his more physical matchups this season against DeMarcus Cousins and came away with a respectable night's work: 10 points and nine rebounds, including three on the offensive end to help the Jazz control the boards. Gobert and Cousins locked up several times, Cousins using his 270 pounds to offset Gobert's length.
''DeMarcus is a terrific player and that's part of his game,'' Utah coach Quin Snyder said. ''Rudy did a good job of trying to stay between him and the basket. He obviously has a lot of strength over Rudy so Rudy had to use his length and we tried to get him some help.''
Jazz: Utah scored more than 29 points in the first quarter for only the second time since Dec. 17. The Jazz led 31-27. ... Trey Burke (lower back) sat out his second straight game.
Kings: Cousins received the technical foul in the first quarter for yelling at an official after getting called for a foul. It's his eighth since the All-Star break. ... Rudy Gay missed third consecutive game with a concussion. ...
Jazz: Host Sacramento on Wednesday.
Kings: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.