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Kings rally for victory over struggling Jazz

Kings rally for victory over struggling Jazz



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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kevin Martin had 21 points and John Salmons scored 17 points, including 11 in the final 3:49, to help rally the Sacramento Kings to a 107-103 victory over the struggling Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Relying primarily on the versatile Salmons down the stretch, the Kings outscored Utah 32-21 in the fourth quarter, to snap a four-game losing streak.

Utah, which led by 17 points midway through the third quarter, has dropped two straight and three of four.

Salmons made a layup in traffic with 58 seconds left to put the Kings ahead for good at 101-100. He followed with two free throws and Martin had four free throws in the final 12 seconds to seal the victory.

Not only did the loss continue a stretch of eight road losses in nine games, the Jazz failed to increase their lead over Houston in the battle for fourth place in the Western Conference.

Fifth-place Houston lost to Portland, and remained 1 1/2 games behind Utah. The Jazz and Houston will likely meet in the opening round of the playoffs, and the fourth-place team will have home-court advantage.

Mehmet Okur had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz. Carlos Boozer scored 17, Gordan Giricek had 16, Derek Fisher added 14 points and nine assists, while Matt Harpring had 14 points.

Utah played without two starters in the second half. In the second quarter, point guard Deron Williams suffered a strained groin and forward Andre Kirilenko injured his left thumb.

Ron Artest had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who stayed alive in the battle for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Ronnie Price scored 13 points in playing the majority of the time at point guard where starter Mike Bibby had only one point in only 15 minutes.

Francisco Garcia added 11 points for the Kings and rookie center Justin Williams was a factor off the bench, getting 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Game notes Utah started the game by making its first 10 shots and led 36-28 after one quarter. ... Giricek matched his season high with 12 first-half points. ESPN Conversation

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