That’s not to say there wasn’t anything to take away from this game. Far from it. It would have been easy for the Warriors to roll over on a game like this, to take it easy and shrug their way through 48 minutes until they could get to their beds.
That wasn’t the case, though, as they kept a neck-and-neck pace with the Jazz for much of the game, showing a high level of energy and intensity at times. Coach Steve Kerr was on them to stay focused, as they can have a tendency to lose that focus in these type of situations and it showed.
They actually shot the ball better, at roughly 49% to Utah’s 45%. The difference came from beyond the arc, however, with Utah scoring four more 3-pointers on the same amount of attempts. I’m going to go ahead and give credit for that one to Joe Johnson, who put up three of those in fourth quarter alone. Whereas the only Warrior to shoot a three in the fourth quarter was James Michael McAdoo. Think about THAT.
Stephen Curry had a good night, with a game-high 28 points, backed by yet another double-double from Kevin Durant with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Getting the start for the resting Klay Thompson was Patrick McCaw who had some good shots on his way to nine points. Meanwhile the big men in the reserve unit put up some solid numbers as well - with JaVale McGee racking up 11 points and six rebounds and David West getting eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable game of basketball to observe, really. They just didn’t pull it off and that’s nothing to be upset about.
Meanwhile, it made things more interesting between the Jazz and the Clippers for the 4th and 5th slots. And really, we want to help one of those teams and hurt the other, so the outcome of this game is actually a positive thing if you think about it.
Anyway, the first quarter was a series of dunks and threes and not a whole lot of defense. The second quarter was a mirror image of itself, with the only four points for the Warriors in the first six minutes coming from West, followed by a flurry of offense in the form of a couple of Curry threes and a breathtaking Durant coast to coast dunk:
Which he would later follow up with this in the third quarter:
The two teams continued to match each other for pace and intensity, going into the fourth quarter tied at 74. As Kerr started pulling the starters, though, it became clear it was going to be up to the reserves to close this one out.
Warriors try to win this game with the Headbands Of Death lineup.— Ray Ratto (@RattoNBCS) April 11, 2017
And they put up a good fight! But Utah left their starters in and they were better. Also, this didn’t really help matters:
this warriors lineup is hilarious. zaza/javale/mcadoo frontcourt lmao— shrill (@theshrillest) April 11, 2017
All you can really do is shrug your shoulders, tip your cap, and look forward to facing the failing Los Angeles Lakers for the final game of the regular season.
Okay, no, you don’t have to look forward to that. But look forward to the playoffs. And enjoy this little stretch of stress-free basketball. Where the rotations are made up and the results don’t matter.