SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It looked like it would be one of the most unlikely buzzer-beaters in Utah Jazz history. But after getting beat by Miami on a buzzer-beater on New Year’s Eve, Utah’s last-second shot came a tick too late.
Lauri Markkanen’s off-balance three-pointer, which was initially ruled good, was overturned on replay, and the Jazz are now on a five-game losing skid for the second time this season after falling to the Sacramento Kings, 117-115. All five losses have been by a combined 15 points.
De’Aaron Fox made a driving layup in the final second and scored 22 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter to help the Kings win.
Fox’ last bucket appeared to go through the hoop with .5 seconds left, but only .4 was put on the clock. The Jazz definitely could have used that extra ten of a second.
Down by two with .4 seconds left, Markkanen caught a length of the court pass from Jarred Vanderbilt, and in one motion made a 3-pointer sending the crowd into a frenzy. But after video review, the basket was nullified.
“I thought I had it off in time,” Markannen said. “Right from the moment it left my hand, it felt good. It’s tough. Obviously, everyone remembers the ending but there’s a lot of things that we did early, we fix and win this ball game.”
Time and again, Sacramento worked Fox into situations where he could use his quickness to get to the basket or hit mid-range jumpers against sagging defenders.
Fox’s big fourth quarter included an emphatic dunk and an 18-foot pullup with 23.1 seconds remaining to put the Kings up 115-112.
Markkanen made all three free throws on a foul behind the arc, but Fox got switched onto the Finnish 7-footer and drove by him for an acrobatic layup.
“I was getting in a zone,” Fox said. “A lot of that was just picking where I wanted to get to, and then getting there and shooting the shoots you work on every day.”
Markannen had 28 points, including a 15-for-15 performance from the line, and Jordan Clarkson added 24. The Jazz dropped their fifth straight game, with the five losses by a combined 17 points.
Domantas Sabonis, playing with a broken right thumb, had 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to help the Kings win for the third time in four games.
Coupled with a 126-125 victory over the Jazz last week, Sacramento has moved three games ahead of Utah in the Western Conference standings.
Harrison Barnes had 19 for the Kings, and Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter both added 16 each.
Sabonis made 17 straight field goals over the last two games against the Jazz until finally missing a shot in the second quarter. Sacramento’s 18 turnovers led to 27 Utah points.
Collin Sexton missed the game to manage his recurring right hamstring injury. Clarkson reached 10,000 career points with a basket in the first quarter.
The Jazz will try avoid its first six-game losing streak of the season at Houston Thursday night.