Trailing by just three points after the first quarter, the Utah Jazz were outscored by 20 points in the second and suffered a 98-87 home loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Both teams began the content with shooting percentages in the 30's, allowing the Jazz to lead for portions of the first quarter. But the Warriors caught fire from distance in the second, as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for six three-pointers in a five-minute span. Golden State outscored Utah 37-17 in that second quarter, leading to a 59-36 halftime lead.
An eight-point outburst from Diante Garrett and strong play from Marvin Williams helped the Jazz close the margin to 13 points by the end of the third quarter. The Jazz outscored the Warriors 29-19 in that quarter.
Early in the fourth, Stephen Curry left the game with an apparent head injury when Williams landed on him in a scramble for a loose ball. But Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes helped the Warriors salt the game away, although eight quick points from Ian Clark prompted Warriors coach Mark Jackson to put his starters back in to close the game.
Curry led all scorers with 22 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Gordon Hayward's 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals paced the Jazz.
Utah fell to 1-11 on the season, losers of three straight since defeating New Orleans last week. Golden State moved to 8-3 and completed a home-and-home weekend sweep of the Jazz.
- Marvin Williams had another strong game, notching 16 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes and helping to lead the Jazz during their critical third-quarter push that kept the game in reach. His movement, activity, energy and outside shooting have made him a real asset to an otherwise poor Jazz bench. It might be time to discuss moving Marvin into the starting lineup in place of Richard Jefferson.
- Diante Garrett bounced back from a poor performance on Saturday with eight points, five assists and three rebounds in 21 minutes tonight. More than just his numbers, though, he seems like the only Jazz guard who really possesses any creative vision; he's always looking to make the extra pass and generate good looks for his teammates. He probably lacks the talent to play starter's minutes, and he would likely do worse against opposing teams' starters rather than their benches. But he's the only player on the Jazz roster whose game says "point guard" to me.
- Ian Clark had a frisky 10 points and two rebounds in just four garbage-time minutes. Granted, Golden State had sent in their scrubs by that point and weren't really playing hard. But Clark did hit two open three-pointers, and on a roster in dire need of more shooters beyond Hayward and Marvin, that skill could be useful.
- Long twos. Man, we shoot SO MANY long two-pointers. Look at this nonsense:
I count at least 20 long, missed two-pointers. (Not to mention all those missed interior shots, but we'll get to those.) This is a symptom of the Jazz's poor point-guard play. That, or we're actively running offensive sets looking for long two-point attempts. Either way, it's bad news.
- Enes Kanter does NOT match up well against Golden State's bigs. He finished with just eight points and six rebounds, but more importantly, he was a minus-33 on the court for the evening. Meanwhile, the Warriors' starting frontcourt of Bogut, Lee and Iguodala got 30 rebounds between them. That's simply too many for a player as talented as Kanter to allow.
- Alec Burks, in just his second career start, laid an absolute stinker, with two points, three assists and two rebounds in 23 minutes. He went 0-5 from the field (four of those were -- guess what? -- long two-point attempts) and struggled to initiate much of anything on offense. There's a fierce debate in Jazzland right now over whether the Jazz have bungled Burks' development and/or played him out of position. I don't know the answer, but I think it's safe to say he's not much of a point guard. The sad thing is he might still be the best option the Jazz have there. HURRY BACK, TREY BURKE.
The Jazz now head out on a three-game road trip, beginning Wednesday night in New Orleans.