Salmons, Kings continue Jazz's road woesApr 7, 2007 - 8:10 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- John Salmons took over when it mattered most.
Salmons scored eight points in the final 2:19 as the Sacramento Kings ended their struggles with a 107-103 victory over the Utah Jazz.
With the Jazz holding a 99-95 lead, Salmons bookended a pair of free throws around two layups to give the Kings a 103-100 lead with 20 seconds left.
"I was just playing, coach called my number a couple of times and we just went from there," Salmons said.
Utah's Gordan Giricek then had a baseline layup bounce out before Kevin Martin's four straight free throws pushed the lead to seven points with seven seconds remaining.
"John Salmons came in and made some clutch shots down at the end," Kings guard Ronnie Price said. "Kevin (Martin) made some clutch free throws. We all pulled together, we kept fighting, and we came out the winner."
Overall, the Kings outscored the Jazz, 32-21, in the final quarter behind 13 points from Salmons.
"To make a long story short, we couldn't stop them in the fourth quarter," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "I thought they got whatever they wanted every possession."
Salmons finished with 17 points off the bench and Martin had 21 for Sacramento, which snapped a four-game losing streak.
"I said when we won the Phoenix game (on March 25) that was more for the fans," Salmons said. "This one was more for our morale, around the whole organization. Winning always feel good. The way things have been going, we needed that just for our morale."
The loss of the late lead continued a poor showing on the road for Utah, which held a 72-55 advantage with 6:36 left in the third quarter before absorbing its eighth loss in its last nine games away from home.
"I don't know what happened to us on the road," Jazz forward Mehmet Okur said. "We just can't focus, we don't play hard. We give (our opponent) what they want. Especially in the second half tonight, we gave them what they want. It's another loss on the road."
With the latest road setback, the Jazz missed out on a chance to solidify their hold on the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Failing to take advantage of Houston's loss to Portland, Utah (48-27) remained 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rockets (47-29) with seven games to play.
"We should have beaten Sacramento tonight, (and) Houston lost," Jazz forward Carlos Boozer said. "I think we're still in good shape right now. We have a tough schedule ahead so it's not going to be easy for us. We've got to play every game like a playoff game."
Mehmet Okur had 24 points and eight rebounds and Boozer scored 17 for the Jazz, who lost the battle on the boards, 42-33.
SACRAMENTO 107 FINAL
Apr 7 12:24 AM
SACRAMENTO 75 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 6 11:45 PM
SACRAMENTO 49 HALFTIME
Apr 6 11:02 PM
SACRAMENTO 28 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 6 10:34 PM
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