OAKLAND, Calif. — The first road victory of the season is well within reach for the Utah Jazz.
The visitors find themselves down by one point, 46-45, to the Golden State Warriors halfway through tonight's contest at Oracle Arena.
Utah is looking to snap a three-game losing streak on the road in 2011-12, having been blown out at the Lakers, Nuggets and Spurs.
Gordon Hayward seems to have refound the stroke and offensive prowess he showed at the end of his rookie season. The starting small forward leads the Jazz with 11 points, including a 2-for-2 showing from beyond the arc.
Center Al Jefferson has continued his strong play of late, scoring 10 points in a rought-and-tumble battle with the Warriors' beefy Kwame Brown.
The first quarter was arguably the best of the young season for Utah, who stormed to a 13-4 lead after Raja Bell hit a pair of jumpers, Jefferson scored six points and Hayward drilled a 3-pointer.
The Jazz (4-3) stretched that lead to 12 before the Warriors (2-5) began chipping away.
Guard Monta Ellis, who's had struggles at home against the Jazz in the past, fired in 18 first-half points to lead the Warriors.
Golden State outscored Utah by nine in the second quarter and went into the break on a 6-1 run.
The Warriors are playing without scoring sparkplug Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and center Andris Biedrins (sprained right ankle/toe).3 comments on this story
Utah is without seldom-used backup small forward Jeremy Evans, who stayed at the team hotel due to a stomach virus.
The Jazz have won three games in a row, but lost both visits to Oakland in 2010-11.