Jazz resume playoff push with Kings

Every game is magnified now as the Western Conference playoff race heads toward the home stretch.

Utah is one of three teams deadlocked with a 27-24 record at the bottom of the playoff picture and is currently the No. 7 seed, owning tiebreakers over both Houston and Denver.

Needless to say, however, things can change on a daily basis and the Jazz hope to take another step in the right direction Friday when they host the lowly Sacramento Kings.

Utah is coming off a brief 1-2 road trip, culminated by a 94-82 setback in Boston on Wednesday.

Gordon Hayward continued his strong campaign with 19 points and seven boards in that one while Al Jefferson went for 18 and 12 for Utah, which has dropped two of three after a six-game winning streak.

"We got down and I'm proud of the fact the guys fought back," remarked Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin. "I'm proud of the fact the guys, especially on the road against this team, fought back and gave themselves a chance at the end."

Salt Lake City has been much kinder to the Jazz then the road. Utah has won seven straight as the host and is a sterling 19-6 on its home floor versus an 8-18 mark as the visitor.

The Kings, meanwhile, haven't been doing much in their spoiler role and lost their fourth straight game on Wednesday, falling to San Antonio, 117-112, at Power Balance Pavilion.

Rookie Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 28 points to go along with 10 assists and DeMarcus Cousins poured in 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Kings in that one. Marcus Thornton added 18 points in the loss.

"Every game we are playing we are in the game," said Cousins. "It's not like we are getting blown out. We know we're a good team, opponents know we are a good team, but we just have to finish out games."

Sacramento, which is a Western Conference-worst 4-22 on the road, has dropped four consecutive trips to Utah and eight of nine overall.