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Utah at Sacramento

Salmons steps up when Martin goes down, leads Kings past Jazz

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- John Salmons will need plenty of quarters like the one he had in the fourth against Utah if the Sacramento Kings are going to survive the next month without leading scorer Kevin Martin.

Salmons scored 13 consecutive points right after Martin went down with a strained right groin Tuesday night, fueling a 43-point fourth quarter that led the Kings to a 117-107 victory against the Jazz.

"Five or six times in a row I went right to him and he made something happen," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "You put him in the spots where he can play and he can usually make it happen."

The excitement from Sacramento's third victory in four games -- all against teams that made the playoffs last season -- was tempered by the injury to Martin, who left in the final minute of the third quarter. Martin, who scored 25 points Tuesday and is averaging 24.5 this season, is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

Sacramento is already without starting point guard Mike Bibby (left thumb) and forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim (right knee). Just as it appeared the Kings found their groove after Ron Artest missed the first seven games because of a league suspension, they must deal with another key loss.

"Without Kev, we definitely won't be as good," Artest said. "And we don't have Mike or Shareef. We have to hang in there and play every possession like it's our last possession."

The Kings did just fine in the fourth quarter, making 11 of 14 shots and 19 of 22 at the line to surge past Utah for the victory.

Salmons went on his scoring spree as soon as Martin went down, making three baskets and all seven free throws to keep the Kings in the game. Salmons' steal and reverse dunk gave the Kings a 98-96 lead with 4:10 remaining and Sacramento never trailed after that. Salmons finished with 21 points.

"John got it started in the fourth quarter for us," center Brad Miller said. "He played great for us. He's going to have to step up a little bit with Kevin going out."

Artest scored eight of his 23 in the fourth quarter and Francisco Garcia hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the final two minutes for the Kings, who have beaten San Antonio, Houston and now Utah on this homestand.

Deron Williams scored 30 points and Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jazz. Ronnie Brewer added 18 points.

Salmons was the only Kings player to make a basket in a span of more than 7½ minutes after Martin's injury. But he got plenty of help once the game went down the stretch. Artest's driving left-handed layup gave the Kings a 100-98 lead and Garcia's 3-pointer made it 107-101 with 1:49 to go.

Garcia hit another from long range to make it 113-105 with 19.5 seconds to go, and the Kings put away the game at the foul line. Sacramento made 36 of 47 foul shots on the night compared to 18 of 22 for Utah.

"We can't guard anybody," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "When they shoot as many layups as they did, that is a problem. We were trying to outscore them most of the time instead of trying to get stops. Our ambition is to try to get stops. They just beat us off the dribble all night."

The Kings went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the third quarter, missing all seven shots and turning the ball over three times during the drought. Andrei Kirilenko's block of Martin's layup attempt on a fast break highlighted the defensive stretch for the Jazz.

But Utah managed only eight points in the span and only led 68-61 lead before Martin ended the scoreless stretch with a jumper with 4:59 remaining in the third. Brewer's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Jazz a 77-74 lead after three.

Sacramento got a pair of dunks by Mikki Moore off nice passes from Artest in the final minute of the half to but Utah's lead to 56-53 at the break. Those easy baskets were a sign of things to come.

"We kept on getting beat to the hole," Williams said. "Our defense is something we have to get better at if we want to become a championship team."

Notes

  • Boozer has 14 double-doubles in 18 games this season.
  • Miller hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter, only his second in 13 attempts this season.
  • Utah will finish its three-game road trip with back-to-back games against San Antonio and Dallas on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Sacramento's only loss on the homestand came against Golden State. The Kings finish up against the Clippers on Friday.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Ron Artest outscores Andrei Kirilenko 23-6 to help extend Sacramento's winning streak to three.  (AP)
Ron Artest outscores Andrei Kirilenko 23-6 to help extend Sacramento's winning streak to three. (AP)

Scoreboard
Utah (13-6) 35212130107
Sacramento (7-10) «27262143117
UTA:D. Williams 30 Pts
UTA:C. Boozer 11 Reb
UTA:D. Williams 7 Ast
SAC:K. Martin 25 Pts
SAC:B. Miller 11 Reb
SAC:R. Artest 5 Ast
Players of the Game
SacramentoUtah

R. Artest

D. Williams
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
23853037
Utah
D. Williams, PG4110-227-737330
M. Okur, C407-211-261517
R. Brewer, SG367-94-562318
A. Kirilenko, SF353-60-03646
C. Boozer, PF338-143-3114519
M. Harpring, SF172-71-13035
P. Millsap, PF172-51-25045
J. Collins, C90-21-23031
G. Giricek, SG72-20-00014
J. Hart, PG51-10-00122
C. Miles, SGDid Not Play
R. Price, PGDid Not Play
M. Almond, SGDid Not Play
K. Fesenko, CDid Not Play
Totals 42-8918-22402133107
 47.2%81.8% 
Sacramento
R. Artest, SF458-176-885623
B. Miller, C384-94-5114313
B. Udrih, PG334-101-223510
K. Martin, SG318-149-1331325
M. Moore, PF284-83-470311
J. Salmons, SF276-99-1162121
F. Garcia, SF194-60-010310
Q. Douby, SG80-04-40014
S. Hawes, C60-30-01010
K. Thomas, PF40-00-01000
S. Abdur-Rahim, PFDid Not Play
M. Bibby, PGDid Not Play
J. Williams, PFDid Not Play
D. Watkins, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-7636-47401526117
 50.0%76.6% 
Other Games
Det 106 Final
Atl 95
NJ 100 Final
Cle 79
Pho 121 Final
Ind 117
LAL 116 Final
Min 95
Mil 87 Final
LAC 78