The Golden State Warriors They picked up their ninth home win of the season on Friday, defeating Utah Jazz 129-118 in the Chase Center. While the Jazz were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, Utah showed surprising depth this year and entered play with a 12-8 record.
The Warriors took advantage of a cold shooting start from the Jazz in the first half. Utah started the game a very poor 21-for-3 from three despite several open looks. The Dubs defense deserves some credit for the struggles, but luck was on the Golden State team as they built a 37-23 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Draymond Green-led second unit struggled on Friday, as the Jazz cut the Warriors’ lead in half while Curry was benched to start the second quarter. Golden State’s early lead might fool you, but their offense missed plenty of opportunities to build a larger lead while stagnating in Utah shooting. However, a combination of swings and a few missed shots in the paint kept the Warriors from pulling away. Instead, they led 59-51 at the half.
Suddenly, the Jazz began to take advantage of open threes early in the second half and managed to erase the Warriors’ lead while Curry was on the ground. With 7:21 left in the third quarter, a Lauri Markkanen three-run gave the Jazz a 71-70 lead, their first of the game.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors’ career in response to once again helping the Dubs build distance from the Jazz. He finished the third quarter with 12 points on 4-for-5 from three, helping Golden State advance to fourth place with a 97-86 lead.
Green’s second unit was much better in the second half, just -2 before Curry hit the ground running with eight minutes remaining in regulation. The Jazz stayed within striking distance through most of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t pull enough stops together to pull in an eight-point lead.
Curry, as always, led the way for the Warriors with 33 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He finished a game higher than +21 plus/minus, though he had his most game-prone game of the season, finishing with 5 gifts. Every other member of the Warriors’ starting lineup scored at least 10 points.
Thompson was quiet off the third quarter and finished the game 6-for-14 from the field with 17 points. Andrew Wiggins had another stellar overall performance with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block. Green added 13 points. Kevon Looney notched his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Off the bench, Jordan Paul capitalized on Utah’s big men, scoring 19 points along with 4 boards and 5 assists.
Like the Dubs, each member of the Jazz’s starting lineup finished with double-digit point totals. Markkanen led Utah with 24 points and a +14 plus/minus score. Kelly Olynyk was highly efficient, scoring 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Jordan Clarkson scored 21 as well. Jared Vanderbilt scored a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
After Friday’s win, the Warriors are back at . 500 with a 10-10 record on the season. Now, the Dubs will attempt to improve their 1-9 road record with a two-game road trip. They will have the day off before facing the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Sunday with the opening time being at 12:30 PM Pacific.