War­riors un­leash heavy ar­tillery

Golden State wastes no time in bury­ing Jazz

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Salt Lake City

The Golden State War­riors needed less than nine min­utes to open a 24-point lead over the short­handed Utah Jazz on Thurs­day night.

Stephen Curry scored 26 points and the War­riors con­trolled the Jazz from start to fin­ish in a 106-99 vic­tory.

Curry had 14 points dur­ing a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz’s only lead of the game was 4-2.

“Loss of fo­cus,” War­riors coach Steve Kerr said about the much closer sec­ond half.

“Our first quar­ter was great, we pushed the ball and our de­fen­sive in­ten­sity was fan­tas­tic. Then I think we let down. We started turn­ing it over with some care­less, pur­pose­less plays.

“We didn’t re­ally have an idea of what we were try­ing to ac­com­plish. Some de­fen­sive mis­takes, not get­ting out on shoot­ers ... and they took ad­van­tage.”

Kevin Du­rant added 21 points and 11 re­bounds for Golden State.

“This team, my first year was kind of a sur­prise and ev­ery­body seemed to love us. Now maybe it’s changed a lit- tle bit. It hon­estly makes no dif­fer­ence to us,” said Kerr.

Jazz cen­ter Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 re­bounds, Joe In­gles scored a ca­reer-high 21 points and Shelvin Mack added a sea­son-high 19.

“I didn’t do a good job of at­tack­ing through­out the game and I thought that was a good op­por­tu­nity for me to at­tack,” Du­rant said about the fourth quar­ter.

Golden State led 65-46 at half­time as the sec­ond unit al­lowed the Jazz to hang around and, tech­ni­cally, re­main within strik­ing dis­tance.

The ur­gency from the first quar­ter dis­ap­peared in the sec­ond half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quar­ter thanks to buck­ets from Mack and In­gles, but Du­rant closed the game with 11 in the fi­nal pe­riod.

Utah was mi­nus four starters — Gor­don Hayward (fin­ger), Rod­ney Hood (ham­string), Ge­orge Hill (toe) and Der­rick Fa­vors (knee). The team has dealt with in­juries all sea­son, but Thurs­day’s was the most de­pleted lineup the Jazz has floored.

“What we’ve dis­cussed is just roles,” coach Quin Sny­der said about sur­viv­ing the in­juries.

“They can morph. They widen, they can nar­row, they can do any­thing. Hope­fully, on a team, guys are will­ing to evolve and ad­just to what the team needs.

“It’s easy to be frus­trated. That’s some­thing we just have to fight and make a de­ci­sion to do the best with where we are.

“It’s a credit to our guys. We’ve got a group that has char­ac­ter. Over a longer pe­riod it be­comes more chal­leng­ing. Hope­fully, there’s a sil­ver lin­ing. We’ve got some guys that are get­ting min­utes they might not be get­ting oth­er­wise.”

While Sny­der said roles morph, Joe John­son in­sisted that shouldn’t be a dif­fi­cult thing night-to-night.

“This is our pro­fes­sion, man,” John­son said.

“This is what we signed up for. This is what we do. When you’re num­ber is called, you’ve got to be ready, re­gard­less of the cir­cum­stances.”

Tip-ins

War­riors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a ca­reer-high 10 points, all in the first half ... Shaun Liv­ingston took the night off to rest ... Dray­mond Green was two as­sists shy of his 15 th ca­reer triple-dou­ble ... Green tweaked his an­kle, but he and Kerr didn’t seem overly con­cerned.

Jazz: Utah started the com­bi­na­tion of Joe John­son, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this sea­son ... In­gles hit a ca­reer-high five 3-poin­t­ers.

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