Warriors unleash heavy artillery
Golden State wastes no time in burying Jazz
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.”
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.