Rubio gets Jazz off and running in 133-112 win over Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A little film study went a long way for Ricky Rubio and helped Utah keep its long winning streak in Sacramento going.
Even with leading scorer Donovan Mitchell sitting out with bruised ribs.
Rubio scored 23 of his 27 points in the first half, Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 15 rebounds and the Jazz beat the Kings 133-112 on Sunday.
“Any time he can get going he’s allowed to do that,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said of Rubio. “He knew tonight that his scoring was important. He got to the rim as much as anything. I know he made some jumpers but he was attacking the rim and finishing.”
Joe Ingles added 18 points, Jae Crowder had 14 and Derrick Favors 11 to help the Jazz snap a three-game losing streak.
Four days after losing to the Kings in Salt Lake City, the Jazz bounced back behind a fast start from Rubio then pulled away for their eighth consecutive win in Sacramento.
Rubio repeatedly got open looks and made 10 of his first 12 shots to help make up for Mitchell’s absence. He finished with five assists and seven rebounds.
“When we were playing against them (Wednesday) I knew their game plan was letting me shoot so I was ready for that,” Rubio said. “Plus, Donovan wasn’t in the game so I had to be a little more aggressive. We saw the bigs were staying a lot with Rudy so Joe had a couple of layups and everybody attacked the rim harder.”
Rubio cooled off in the second half after picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter but Utah got a big lift from Gobert and Favors to hold on.
“It’s not just (Rubio’s) scoring,” Crowder said. “It’s being aggressive, whether it be getting in the paint and finding guys (for) kick-outs or getting in the paint and finding your layups. Once he does that it opens up a lot of stuff for our offense.”
Gobert scored 11 of Utah’s first 13 points in the third quarter, including a pair of thunderous two-hand dunks in a 60-second span. Favors had seven points early in the fourth and made a big block on a baseline drive.
The Kings, playing the second half of a back-to-back, couldn’t keep up. Sacramento was sluggish early and trailed by 28 in the second half.
It was a far different look for coach Dave Joerger’s team, which lost 117-116 at Golden State on Saturday. The Kings were outrebounded 49-36 and went 23 of 31 at the free throw line.
“They were not excited about us tripping them up on their home floor last week,” Joerger said. “They came in focused and dialed in.”
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points in his first start this season for Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III added 18 points and six rebounds.
The Kings seemed to wear down late in the game, something their opponents have done frequently. Playing the second half of a back-to-back was partly to blame, as was Sacramento’s high-tempo offense which rarely got in gear. The Kings were held to a season-low 13 fast-break points.
“We had a lot of mistakes, turnovers we don’t usually get,” Bagley said. “I think everybody was kind of tired from a hard game (Saturday). It was just one of those days.”
Sacramento is 0-6 when allowing opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor. . Utah had 30 assists, its third game with 30 or more. . Bagley has reached double figures in scoring in five straight games.
Jazz: Rubio took only four shots in the second half. ... Mitchell was injured early in the second quarter of Friday’s loss to the Lakers. He appeared fine in the locker room after the game but it’s uncertain when he’ll play next.
Kings: Harry Giles, who sat out all of last season with a knee injury, had his most effective game this season with 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks. ... Sacramento hasn’t defeated Utah at home since Dec. 8, 2015. ... Iman Shumpert (load management) and Kosta Koufos (right calf strain) were held out.
Jazz: Host Indiana on Monday.
Kings: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
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