The Utah Jazz played tonight. And the Utah Jazz got off to a slow start. It’s a broken record at this point. They only mustered 14 points in the first quarter, but fortunately the defense showed up and kept them in the game.
Rubio crapped the bed in the first quarter. That’s really all there is to say about it. Bad turnovers. Air ball threes. Blown layups. It was ugly. It was looking like another one of those games where the Jazz desperately need another scorer. Crowder filled that role some with a couple back to back threes to bring the Jazz back into it. Neto also played some good minutes off the bench in the first.
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The second quarter was much more entertaining than the first. The teams shared punches and went on runs back and forth. Man the Warriors can just score in bunches. They can turn a 2 point lead into an 8 point lead in a matter of seconds. Also, SO MANY DUNKS AND LAYUPS given up by the Jazz. The Jazz had played good defense up to this point in the game, but some possessions were blown pretty bad.
At the end of 2 the Jazz were down 44-47 despite the Warriors showing up to play. It set up what should have been an interesting 2nd half.
The Jazz had a great third quarter and were able to take a 3 point lead into the 4th. This could have been a bigger lead if the Warriors weren’t the Warriors. There were times when the Jazz did everything perfectly defensively and Durant or Thompson would just hit a very difficult shot.
Donovan started showing more patience. There was a moment in the 3rd quarter that I really appreciated. They showed him on the bench with Quin Snyder and the two were going back and forth about a few plays. They were so engaged and it just reminded me of how good Quin is and the relationship he has with his players.
Also, it’s so comforting to have Rudy. It seems like he gobbles up every single defensive rebound if the other team misses.
I have to give it to the Warriors crowd. I hate when the Jazz play in Oakland. That crowd is just begging for a reason to explode on every possession. They brought a lot of energy and were especially explosive in the 4th.
The Jazz looked like they just ran out of gas in the fourth. A 20-4 run gave the defending champs a lead they were very unlikely to relinquish. I’m not usually a moral victory kind of guy. But I will be for one night. This was a game that Utah could have caved on really quick. It’s the last game before the long break in the hardest place to play in the league. But the good guys made Golden State earn it.
Hopefully the Jazz carry that energy and motivation through the break and are ready to roll when things get going again after the All-Star game.