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This time, Jazz can't hang on after blowing large lead and lose to Sacramento

SALT LAKE CITY — It was a familiar scenario we’ve seen from the Utah Jazz several times this season.

It goes something like this: The Jazz take a seemingly comfortable lead of 15 to 20 points during the second half, then let the large lead fritter away to almost nothing, before hanging on for dear life and sneaking away with a victory.

That scenario played out again Wednesday night at Vivint Arena as the Jazz blew another 20-point second-half lead.

Only this time, the Jazz weren’t able to come away with a victory.

The Sacramento Kings stormed back from a large deficit with a 32-point fourth quarter and stunned the Jazz and 19,195 fans for a 94-93 victory.

The loss, on the heels of Tuesday’s big loss at Golden State, dropped the Jazz to 18-12 on the season with Toronto coming to town Friday night.

“I’m disappointed we lost,” said coach Quin Snyder. “They made some big shots and we put them on the foul line and that hurt us as well. As the game went on we looked a little tired, but that’s no excuse.”

Gordon Hayward shook off perhaps his worst game of the season a night earlier in Oakland (6 points on 2-of-10 shooting) and led the Jazz with 28 points, including 9-of-18 shooting. However, he couldn’t hit a pair of shots in the final minute that might have sent the game into overtime.

Rudy Gobert produced his 20th double-double (ninth straight) of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. However, he missed a dunk in the lane with 25 seconds left and given a second chance at the foul line, missed the second of two free throws that would have tied the game.

The Jazz appeared to be on cruise control when they extended a 10-point halftime lead to 20 at 62-42 midway through the third quarter. But like they had in previous games, this year, the Jazz couldn’t stand prosperity and let the Kings back in it.

It was still an 11-point lead after three quarters at 73-62, but the Kings kept cutting into the lead behind backup guard Ty Lawson, who scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

The Kings took their first lead of the night on a pair of free throws by Demarcus Cousins, who was kept in check most of the night after his 55-point game the night before, with 1:08 left at 90-89.

After neither team scored on their next possessions, Cousins was fouled by Gobert on a drive to the basket, at least according to the officials. The call came late and the replay didn’t show much contact and the fans showed their displeasure with a chorus of boos (when asked by a pool reporter later, crew chief Derrick Stafford defended the call saying Gobert’s leg hit Cousins’ leg).

When asked if he thought he made a good defensive play, Gobert said, “I felt like it . . . not everybody did.”

Then Gobert was fouled on a dunk attempt with 19.2 seconds left with a chance to tie the game, but missed the second of two, leaving the Jazz behind 91-90.

Hayward fouled Cousins on the rebound and Cousins made one of two, leaving the Jazz with one last chance.

Hayward drove down the left side and put up a right-handed shot against Cousins that rolled off the rim with 3.2 seconds left. Cousins then sank two free throws to seal the victory.

“The last minute, we had three point-blank shots – we had a dunk, Joe (Johnson) had a five-footer, and Gordon had a 5-footer,” said Snyder. “It’s the defensive end, we can look at other things and there are other factors but when you give up a 32-point fourth quarter it’s hard to win.”

Cousins led the Kings with 21 points and besides Lawson’s 19, Garrett Temple had 11 off the bench.