The Utah Jazz (18-11) fell to the Golden State Warriors (25-4) last night, and were kicked while falling to expedite their descent. The 30 piece bucket the Dubs put on them, 104-74, wasn’t even close to being indicative of just how far apart these two teams are. The Warriors have won a title with this core (sorry Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut), went to the finals and lost a second time, and are aiming to go there a three year in a row this season after re-loading and adding a former MVP in Kevin Durant. The Jazz haven’t been in the playoffs since Josh Howard was starting, and are looking to make it this year if they can stay healthy enough.
A more severely under-manned Jazz kept it close in Utah, losing by 7 points after being without four starters and their 6th man. Last night, without two starters and their 6th man, they were taught a lesson. Players were intimidated and ineffective. The 19-15 1st quarter was fool’s gold as teams were missing shots — but this game was a few makes away from going Golden State’s way.
The second and third quarters had the Warriors dropping 63 points. For the entire game the Jazz would score 74 total. Utah shot poorly (.355 / .300 / .550) all over the court and coughed up the ball 23 times (only 13 assists). To hang with Golden State you almost have to match their capability and play near mistake free basketball for long stretches. That didn’t happen last night.
Rudy Gobert is a boss, and finished with 11 points (5/6 FG), 16 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assists and should have gone to the line more than just three times. Trey Lyles and Joe Ingles also added 11 points off the bench. The team was led by Joe Johnson and his 14 points. It wasn’t a great night.