SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- There hasn't been much the Utah Jazz want
to remember from their first losing season since 1983.
And ending a five-year home losing streak to the Sacramento
Kings won't make up for losing more than 50 games, but it was a
good way to say goodbye to Utah's fans for the offseason.
"We don't have a lot to play for other than to hopefully gain a
little respect from the fans and the game itself," Jazz coach
Jerry Sloan said after Utah's 92-82 win over Sacramento on Monday
night in the home finale.
The Jazz last beat the Kings in Utah on April 19, 2000, back
when both teams were playoff-bound. This year, only the Kings will
still be playing next week as the sixth seed in the Western
Sacramento never got closer than four points in the fourth
"I don't think you can limit it to the fourth quarter. We
didn't play well enough to win the whole game," Sacramento coach
Rick Adelman said.
Matt Harpring had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Mehmet Okur got
his 22nd double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds
for the Jazz, who finished their home season with an 18-23 record.
There has been some worry among Jazz fans who think Sloan may
have coached his last game in Utah. But the 63-year-old said he
plans to treat this summer like any other -- return to his southern
Illinois farm, then think about whether he wants to come back for
an 18th season with the Jazz.
"That comes as kind of a natural progression whenever I've gone
home the last three or four years and get away from basketball,"
Monday's game will be at least one positive thing for Sloan to
remember. Utah snapped the nine-game home losing streak to the
Kings, holding Sacramento to 5-for-22 shooting in the fourth
"That's how we have to play. This isn't a finesse league.
Especially down the stretch, you can't finesse your way into a
win," Harpring said.
The Kings also missed their second straight chance at clinching
its fifth consecutive 50-win season. The Kings close the regular
season Wednesday at home against Phoenix.
The Rockets and Kings were tied for fifth entering the night,
but Houston owned the tiebreaker with a better conference record.
The Kings were without Peja Stojakovic (groin) for the second
straight game and trailed most of the night.
"Obviously you want the highest seed, but you've got to live
with what it is," Bibby said.
In the fourth quarter, Utah easily held off Sacramento's
Gordan Giricek finished with 12 points and five assists for Utah
and Okur added four assists. Utah avoided getting swept by the
Kings in the three meetings this season.
Sacramento had a chance to take the lead with Brian Skinner
shooting two free throws midway through the third quarter, but he
had an airball on his first attempt and was short again on the
The Jazz answered with a 3-pointer by Giricek to go up 56-52,
then Collins added a three-point play and Harpring made a reverse
layup to cap an 8-0 run.
Utah led 71-62 at the end of the third and never let the Kings
get closer than four points in the final period.
Kenny Thomas, who scored 11 points, got Sacramento within 84-80
on two free throws with 2:02 remaining, but Keith McLeod made two
layups and Okur added a free throw in a 5-1 run.
Sacramento C Greg Ostertag, who spent nine inconsistent
seasons with the Jazz, was booed every time he touched the ball.
... The Jazz close their first losing season since 1983 on
Wednesday at Sacramento. ... Corliss Williamson scored 13 points