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Warriors fight back from 21 down, fall short to Jazz 113-109 in Utah

Ex-Jazz man Alec Burks scored 20 in his return to Salt Lake City, but Donovan Mitchell’s 30 points were too much to handle for the young Dubs.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors were unable to complete a major comeback, falling to the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, 113-109.

The Warriors trailed by as many as 21, but clawed their way back to a one possession game in the final seconds of a rollercoaster bout. Utah was led by Donovan Mitchell’s 30 points, while Golden State’s effort was fueled by Alec Burks’ 20 points and 4 steals.

They also received major contributions from Omari Spellman and Ky Bowman. Spellman tallied 18 points, 5 rebounds, and drilled all four of his attempts from downtown in what may have been his best performance as a pro. Meanwhile Bowman had 4 steals of his own to go with 17 points.

First Half

Bowman hit two jumpers and drew a charge in the first two minutes of the first quarter, starting the game with verve. He then crossed Mike Conley’s soul out of his body on a beautiful drive to the rim.

His confident aggression against the prized backcourt of Conley and Mitchell is another reason to hope the Warriors figure out a way to retain the two-way contract player.

But it was the Warriors’ defense that kept the game close early, allowing them to scrap their way to a 30-28 deficit at the end of the first quarter.

The Jazz announced immediately after the first quarter ended that Utah legend and hall-of-famer John Stockton was in the building. Finally, Utah could maybe get a win over Golden State coach Steve Kerr, the former assassin on Michael Jordan’s Bulls who daggered Utah in the NBA Finals a lifetime ago.

Utah stretched their lead out comfortably as weariness seemed to hit the young Dubs in the second quarter. Utah’s constant defensive pressure and fundamentally sound offensive attack wilted the Warriors early verve.

The Jazz led 65-51 at the half, raising their field goal percentage up to 61% by the break.

Second Half

Utah controlled the third quarter, outscoring GSW 25-21, seemingly putting the youngsters to bed early. Their lead rose as high as 21, and the game looked bleak.

But the Dubs fought back in the fourth quarter with a sudden burst of energy, keyed by Spellman’s shot making.

Additionally, their defensive intensity picked up and keyed a rousing run halfway through the period, cutting the deficit to five points with barely over 2 minutes to go in the game.

The Warriors cut it to 111-109 with 17 seconds to go, but were forced to foul Conley, who SPLIT his free throws. The Dubs took the ball down 112-109 with 16.7 seconds left of an improbable comeback.

Burks drove to the rim on the inbounds play and tried to generate contact on Gobert under the rim. But Gobert managed to pull enough of his body away to make the contact appear incidental, and Burks blew the layup.

That pretty much sealed the game.

An entertaining and inspiring ending to this game was not complete without the victory, but it reminded Dub Nation that they have a team that will never quit, no matter how short handed they are.