October 18, 2018 / 5:05 AM / a month ago

Jazz erase 16-point hole, top Kings in opener

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points while Joe Ingles added 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting to lift the visiting Utah Jazz to a 123-117 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Rudy Gobert added 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks for the Jazz. Derrick Favors chipped in 18 points and nine rebounds.

Utah overcame a 16-point first-half deficit behind the strength of 39 bench points — 13 apiece for Alec Burks, Dante Exum and Jae Crowder — and 48.1 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored 23 points to lead Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, Buddy Hield chipped in 19, and Nemanja Bjelica had 18.

Sacramento took advantage of a sluggish start from the Jazz and made 11 of its 15 first shots to take control early in the first quarter. The Kings scored the game’s first nine points and jumped out to a 25-9 lead after Fox, Justin Jackson and Iman Shumpert all took turns knocking down baskets over three consecutive possessions.

Utah rallied once Sacramento cooled down. The Jazz scored four baskets in a row late in the opening quarter, capped by a 3-pointer from Ingles, to trim the deficit to 29-28. They took their first lead of the game early in the second quarter, going up 35-34 on Burks’ second 3-pointer of the night.

Once the Jazz pulled ahead, they kept adding to their lead before halftime. They went up 55-44 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Ingles and Crowder. Then, Mitchell added back-to-back baskets in the final minute of the half to give Utah a 68-55 lead at the break.

The Kings had another run left in them. Sacramento opened the third quarter on a 20-5 run and took a 75-73 lead on a 3-pointer from Yogi Ferrell.

Utah never trailed again after retaking a 77-75 lead on back-to-back baskets from Ingles and Gobert. Still, the Jazz could not pull away from the Kings until the final seconds.

—Field Level Media

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