Surging Jazz avert collapse with strong finish to eliminate Kings from playoff race
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 20 points against the Kings. AP

GORDON Hayward scored 20 points, Rodney Hood added 18 and the Utah Jazz knocked off the Sacramento Kings from the postseason with a 112-82 win on Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila) at the Golden 1 Center.

Utah jumped to an early 20-point lead in the opening quarter but lost most of it as the Kings recovered in the second quarter. The Jazz came roaring back in the second half to take 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 was perfect from three-point range, going 5-for-5.

Sacramento lost the battle from beyond the arc, managing a measly 2-for-15.

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

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph