The Golden State Warriors got their ninth home victory of the season on Friday, defeating the Utah Jazz 129-118 at the Chase Center. While the Jazz were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, Utah has showcased 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 began the game an abysmal 3-for-21 from three despite several open looks. The Dubs defense deserves some credit for the struggles, but luck was on Golden State’s side as they built a 37-23 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Draymond Green-led second unit struggled on Friday, with the Jazz cutting the Warriors lead in half while Curry was on the bench to start the second quarter. Golden State’s early lead may deceive you, but their offense missed plenty of opportunities to build an even larger lead during Utah’s shooting slump. However, a combination of turnovers and some missed shots in the paint prevented the Warriors from pulling away. Instead, they led 59-51 at the half.
All of a sudden, the Jazz began capitalizing on their open threes at the start of the second half and were able to erase the Warriors lead while Curry was on the floor. With 7:21 remaining in the third quarter, a three from Lauri Markkanen gave the Jazz a 71-70 lead, their first of the game.
Klay Thompson led a Warriors rally in response to help the Dubs once again build some distance from the Jazz. He finished the third quarter with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from three, and helped Golden State head into the fourth with a 97-86 lead.
Green’s second-unit faired much better in the second half, only going -2 before Curry returned to the floor with eight minutes left in regulation. The Jazz stayed within striking distance for much of the fourth quarter, but were unable to string enough stops together to pull within eight points.
Curry, as always, led the way for the Warriors with 33 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He finished with a game-high +21 plus/minus, although he did have his most turnover-prone game of the season, finishing with 5 giveaways. Every other member of the Warriors starting lineup scored at least 10 points.
Thompson was quiet outside of the third quarter and finished the game 6-for-14 from the field with 17 points. Andrew Wiggins turned in another excellent overall performance with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a block. Green added 13 points. Kevon Looney had his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Off the bench, Jordan Poole took advantage of Utah’s plodding big men, scoring 19 points alongside 4 boards and 5 assists.
Like the Dubs, every member of the Jazz’s starting lineup finished with double-digit point totals. Markkanen led Utah with 24 points and a +14 plus/minus. Kelly Olynyk was hyper-efficient, scoring 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Jordan Clarkson scored 21 as well. Jarred Vanderbilt had 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 try to improve upon their 1-9 road record with a two-game road trip. They will have one day off before they face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Sunday with opening tip scheduled for 12:30 PM Pacific.