It was turn back the clock night at Sleep Train Arena Wednesday night. No one warned the Sacramento Kings.
On the same night Rudy Gay’s debut with the Kings was delayed because one of the players dealt to the Toronto Raptors had not yet passed a physical, 33-year-old Richard Jefferson scored 20 points and the Utah Jazz pounded the Sacramento Kings 122-101.
For Jefferson, it was his second 20-point game of the season—he had a season-high 22 points in a win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 13. Jefferson hadn’t had at least two 20-point performances in the same season since 2010-11, when he was with the San Antonio Spurs.
Gay, along with new Kings teammates Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, meanwhile, was not in uniform on Wednesday night. Greivis Vasquez, one of the four players Sacramento sent to the Raptors in Sunday’s blockbuster trade, didn’t arrive in Toronto until Wednesday night—he had to go to New York to get his visa.
It was a bad night overall for the Kings, who were slow on the defensive end. Utah made them pay for it, shooting 53.9 percent overall and 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from long range. Sacramento (6-14) never led in the game and the Jazz (5-19) were up by as many as 28 points in the third quarter and pushed the advantage that high again in the waning minutes of the game.
Jefferson was 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-for-4 from 3-point range for the Jazz. Derrick Favors scored 17 points and had a team-high seven rebounds to go with three blocked shots, Gordon Hayward also scored 17 points and Alec Burks came off the bench to nail 3-of-4 from downtown on his way to a 17-point night.
Rookie point guard Trey Burke had 11 points and nine assists for Utah.
Sacramento shot 44.9 percent for the game (35-for-78) and lost big despite a huge edge at the foul line. The Kings were 27-of-33 from the stripe to just 13-for-15 for Utah.
It is expected that Vasquez will clear his physical on Thursday in Toronto, which would allow Gay to make his Sacramento debut Friday night in Phoenix. The Kings and Suns tip off at 6 p.m. Pacific from US Airways Center.