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Hayward helps Jazz knock off Kings 112-82

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Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein, left, reaches for a loose ball against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 20 points, Rodney Hood had 18 and the Utah Jazz beat the Sacramento Kings 112-82 on Wednesday night.

Utah jumped out to an early 20-point lead, and then squandered most of it in the second quarter. But it put together a solid second half to secure its third win in four games.

Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz (46-29), and Shelvin Mack scored 14 points. Hood went 5 for 5 from beyond the arc.

Ben McLemore tied a season high with 22 points for Sacramento (29-46), and Darren Collison had 12.

The Kings went 2 for 15 from 3-point range, compared to 13 for 32 for the Jazz.

Utah has clinched its first playoff appearance since the 2011-12 season. But it has a difficult seven games left on its schedule, including two meetings with San Antonio and Portland, and a road game at Golden State.

Following a 16-point second quarter, the Jazz got going again offensively in the third, sharing the ball and getting open looks. They outscored Sacramento 28-24 to grab a 78-67 lead heading into the fourth. The lead was 20 points for much of the fourth.

Despite missed several key players, the Jazz came out fast, scoring the game's first 11 points. Hayward had a four-point play, helping Utah take a 20-point lead into the second quarter.

The Kings were coming off impressive victories against the playoff-bound Clippers and Grizzlies. They went with a youthful lineup with veterans Kosta Koufos and Garrett Temple sitting out the game and Arron Afflalo away from the team due to personal reasons.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Gs George Hill and Raul Neto each suffered strained groins against New Orleans on Monday and didn't play. Derrick Favors (left knee bone contusion) was also out.

Kings: Missed their first nine shots to start the game. ... McLemore rallied the Kings in the second period, scoring a career high for one quarter of 17 points as Sacramento closed the gap to 50-43 by halftime.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Return home Friday for strong test against John Wall and Washington.

Kings: At New Orleans on Friday in what should be an emotional game, the first meeting against ex-teammate DeMarcus Cousins.

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