Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette returned to Utah and played one of his best games of the young NBA season Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
It wasn't enough.
Fredette scored 10 points and handed out an assist, but the Jazz rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Sacramento, 104-102.
In the Kings' previous three games, Fredette had scored five points in 17 minutes.
He was much better against Utah, which watched him quarterback the Kings to double-digit leads in the second and fourth quarters before returning to the bench.
"He played well," Sacramento coach Keith Smart said. "Jimmer did a good job. That's what you want to provide off the bench a spark, some positivity. And he did that."
In the final six minutes, however, the Kings scored only five points and watched a chance for their first road win slip away.
"It just kind of crumbled for us a little bit," Fredette said. "We weren't making shots at the end. We just weren't executing as well as we should have. And they shot well and played good [defense]."
Fredette almost buried the Jazz when, with eight minutes left, his long 3-pointer rimmed out. It would have given the Kings a 95-79 lead.
With 7:08 remaining, though, Fredette came off a screen at the top of the circle and hit a 3-pointer, making it 95-83. The Kings looked like winners.
"At that point," Fredette said, "you don't try to think about too much. You just want to keep playing aggressively. You want to run to your spots, make sure you take good shots, try to make them and defend at the other end."
Sacramento owned a 97-90 lead when Fredette went to the bench with 4:28 remaining, as the crowd mostly booed.
Throughout the game, however, the reception was mixed.
Fredette received plenty of support from the BYU fans who will always remember his career with the Cougars.
"It's always great to come back and see a lot of people that helped you," he said in a pregame meeting with the media. "I'm excited to be here again and see everybody and have a good time."
Asked how long he will be greeted by a flock of local reporters when he returns to Utah, Fredette smiled and said, "I hope forever. I hope as long as I come back it will always be like this."
Fredette's last four games
Team Min FG 3s FTs Reb Ast Pts
Utah 17 3-7 3-4 1-2 0 1 10
L.A. Lakers 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Brooklyn 10 1-3 1-1 0-0 1 0 3
Atlanta 7 0-3 0-2 2-2 0 0 2