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SALT LAKE CITY — There's a number of reasons the Utah Jazz dropped their fifth straight game Tuesday against Sacramento.
There were the hilariously bad no calls that directly led to 5 points for Sacramento; then there was Utah's poor 3-point shooting and overall slow start; oh, and of course, there was the fact the game didn't have a couple extra tenths of a second on the clock.
But the Jazz were also, once again, without Collin Sexton.
In the 14 minutes Mike Conley rested on Tuesday, Utah was outscored by 13 points. In a 2-point game, that was pretty significant. Sexton, who averaged 14.1 points on a career-high 48% shooting, may have helped with that, but the reserve guard is sidelined again.
Sexton, who missed seven games in December with a strained hamstring, will be re-evaluated in a week after he didn't feel like the hamstring was as strong as it needed to be. It's not a setback, per se, but more of a precaution to make sure there will be no long-term issues.
"He did all the rehab, came back, checked all the boxes, and said that it just didn't quite feel right," Jazz coach Will Hardy said.
Sexton met with doctors and the Jazz medical team, and they came to the conclusion that it was best for his long-term health for him to sit out and go through a strengthening program.
"Hopefully by taking a week, it'll help him kind of jumpstart that process," Hardy said,
Conley, who missed a number of games during his first two seasons with the Jazz with hamstring issues, said soft tissue injuries can be difficult because they feel so minor.
"They can be very nagging and very small sometimes," he said. "You are so used to playing through a lot. For you, it can feel like a bruise, but you go out there and explode it one time, and it can go from something minor to major in a second, so you gotta be real careful with it."
And that's what the Jazz are doing, especially with the way Sexton plays. He's not one to take it easy on a play, and that can put some added stress on the recovery to him hamstring strain, so the best course of action — for both he and the team's future — was for him to fully heal.
"I think if it was Game 7 of a playoff series, I think he'd (have played Tuesday)," Hardy said. "Collin's a very tough kid. He doesn't like being told that he can't play, but it's in his best interest that he sit out."
But the Jazz definitely missed him against the Kings. Utah will have road games against Houston, Chicago and Memphis before Sexon is re-evaluated.
"Obviously, Colin has been great for us this year changing the tempo of the game," Hardy said. "His ability to attack one-on-one puts a lot of pressure on the rim and helps us get the bonus. He gets fouled a lot. He's very good at drawing contact. So his ability to score in bursts and pressure the ball defensively is something that obviously we'll miss."