Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, left, dunks the ball over Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 31, 2024. (AP Photo/Randall Benton)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 24 points and keyed a big third-quarter run for Sacramento that carried the Kings to a 127-106 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.

Barnes took on a bigger role offensively for the short-handed Kings and delivered with 16 points in the decisive third quarter.

“We knew we had some different lineups out there,” Barnes said. “Coach told everyone they had the green light. Shoot and be aggressive. … I tried to shoot with confidence.”

Keegan Murray scored 25 points to lead the Kings. De’Aaron Fox had 24 points and 12 assists, and Domantas Sabonis had 17 points and 11 rebounds for his 57th straight double-double. That helped the Kings complete a three-game series sweep against Utah for their first season sweep against the Jazz since 2001-02.

Sacramento moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with Phoenix but remained two games behind sixth-place Dallas in the race to avoid the play-in tournament.

Brice Sensabaugh and Collin Sexton each scored 22 points for the Jazz, who have lost nine straight games overall. Utah has dropped 11 in a row on the road and hasn’t won away from home since Jan. 27 at Charlotte.

Coach Will Hardy saw some positive signs from his young team that featured three rookie starters, but defense was a glaring issue.

“We’ve got to continue to shore up our communication,” Hardy said. “All five people on the court have to do their job. Defense is hard in this league but we had too many breakdowns in the half court, where two or three guys would execute and one person would be a little bit late. Against a good team like that, a very potent offense like that, they punish you.”

Both teams were short-handed, with Sacramento playing without guard Kevin Huerter (shoulder) and sixth man Malik Monk (knee). Utah was missing three of its top four scorers: Jordan Clarkson (back), Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) and John Collins (back).

The Kings did get back two reserves with Trey Lyles (left knee) and Sasha Vezenkov (right ankle) returning to action.

The Jazz managed to stay close for a little more than a half before the big run in the third quarter turned it into a blowout. Murray started it with a 3-pointer followed by two more from long range from Barnes.

Sacramento scored 15 straight and went on a 23-2 run in a span of less than five minutes behind 13 points from Barnes to take an 81-60 lead midway through the third quarter. Barnes scored 16 points in all in the quarter.

“Every time on the offensive side, we found the open guy,” Murray said. “HB was ready when his numbers was called. I feel collectively we did a good job of finding the right guy and making the extra pass so we got the open shot.”

The Kings cruised from there to the win.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Kings: Host the Clippers on Tuesday night.







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