Western Conference leaders Utah Jazz will face off against the twelfth-placed Sacramento Kings for the final time in the 2020-21 season on Sunday. The two Western Conference clubs have already met twice this campaign, with the Utah Jazz routing their opponents with ease on both occasions.
Heading into Sunday's contest, the Sacramento Kings are 12th in the West thanks to a 31-40 record behind them. Luke Walton's side are coming off a two-game skid while going 6-4 in their past ten games.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz will roll out at the Golden 1 Center with an impressive 51-20 record in the books. Quin Snyder's men sit atop their conference, 1.5 games ahead of the second-placed Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz are the first team in the league to add 50 wins to their record.
Fixture: Utah Jazz vs Sacramento Kings Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, May 16th, 2021 9:00 PM ET. (Monday 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Utah Jazz Preview
Despite missing their floor general Donovan Mitchell for a while, the Utah Jazz have been able to hold the number one spot in a stacked Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz could reach new heights in the postseason this year, provided their role players can keep performing at a high level. Jordan Clarkson has been sensational off the bench and is also the frontrunner for the Sixth Man of the Year award. Besides Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles have played their parts to perfection.
Playing their 71st game of the season against the OKC Thunder on Friday, the Utah Jazz recorded their 51st victory of the campaign. Bogdanovic tallied a team-high 22 points, while 2021 All-Star Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 18 rebounds from underneath the rim.
Key Player – Bojan Bogdanovic
In Mitchell's absence, Bojan Bogdanovic has expanded his role on the team. The Utah Jazz forward has tallied 20 points or more in nine of his past ten appearances, including a monster 48-point performance against the Denver Nuggets earlier this month.
Bogdanovic has been extremely durable for the Utah Jazz, playing a team-best 71 games throughout the 2020-21 campaign. The 7th year wing player has averaged 17 points per contest on 44% shooting from the field and 39% marksmanship from beyond the arc.
Bogey has also added 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.8 minutes from the floor. Bogdanovic's recent form suggests he could once again be the key player to watch out for in Sunday's matchup against the Sacramento Kings.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Mike Conley Jr. l Shooting Guard - Joe Ingles l Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic l Power Forward - Royce O'Neale l Center - Rudy Gobert
Sacramento Kings Preview
The Sacramento Kings have been eliminated from the postseason for the 15th straight season. They are now tied for the longest playoff drought in NBA history. The Kings fought valiantly but came up short against the Memphis Grizzlies in a two-game mini-series. Their latest defeat came on Friday, losing by one point en route to their 40th loss of the campaign.
Sharpshooter Buddy Hield had a rough night scoring-wise, while Louis King tallied a team-high 27 points off the bench. In all fairness to the Sacramento Kings, their side has witnessed most of their top contributors resting on the sidelines with injuries.
To make matters worse, their star-calibre player De'Aaron Fox is still in the league's health and safety protocols. He has been ruled out for their game against the Utah Jazz. Fox's fourth season with the Sacramento Kings has officially concluded with career-best averages of 25.2 points, 7.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in 58 appearances.
Key Player - Buddy Hield
Despite failing to make an impact in his previous outing, the Sacramento Kings' 5th-year guard Buddy Hield remains their best player on a severely depleted roster. Hield has garnered a reputation as a three-point specialist, hitting a career-best four three-pointers per game.
The 2016-17 All-Rookie peaked in March when he tallied 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 35.5 minutes from the floor. On February 28, 2021, Hield surged past the Warriors' Stephen Curry to become the fastest player in NBA history to register 1,000 3-pointers. Buddy reached the impressive milestone in only 350 games.
Sacramento Kings Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Delon Wright l Shooting Guard - Buddy Hield l Small Forward - Maurice Harkless l Power Forward - Chimezie Metu l Center - Damian Jones
Jazz vs Kings Match Prediction
The shorthanded Sacramento Kings will enter this tie as underdogs. With their side eliminated from the postseason, the final matchup of the campaign won't affect their season standings in any meaningful way. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz will be determined to end their season on a high note as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 playoffs in the West. Despite Mitchell's absence, the Utah Jazz boast a formidable unit that can hold their ground against the best teams. On that note, we predict the Utah Jazz will emerge victorious on Sunday.
Where to watch Jazz vs Kings?
The game between the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings will be telecast on NBC Sports Bay Area & California and AT&T SportsNet (Rocky Mountain). International viewers can catch the game on the NBA League Pass.