OAKLAND, Calif. — The Utah Jazz have struggled mightily on the road so far this season, having suffered four double-digit losses in the East and a close loss in Phoenix. The Jazz hoped a change of scenery to the West Coast might make a difference, but it was the same old story as the Jazz fell way behind early and were never really in the game in a 102-88 loss to Golden State Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
With the loss, the Jazz fell to 1-10 on the season, while the Warriors improved to 7-3. The two teams will do it again Monday night when they play at EnergySolutions Arena in a 7 p.m. game
The Warriors looked like they were still stoked after Thursday night’s thrilling victory over Oklahoma City — when Andre Iguodala sank a baseline jumper at the buzzer to give Golden State a 116-115 victory — as they jumped out to a quick 14-point first-quarter lead over Utah.
Meanwhile, the Jazz looked like they had a hangover after Friday night’s loss to San Antonio when they led most of the game before getting outscored 31-15 in a nine-point loss. They did show some life in the third quarter, but it was too little, too late.
"Golden State is a fast up-tempo team and we wanted to control the tempo early, but they knew we played last night and wanted to push the tempo,'' said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. "Give them credit. They were able to push the tempo that was favorable to them.''
The Jazz had balanced scoring. Derrick Favors led the way with 17 points, while Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams each had 14, Richard Jefferson 12 and Enes Kanter 10.
The Warriors had six players in double figures, led by Klay Thompson, who scored 25 points, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Iguodala, the hero of Thursday night’s game, finished with 16, while Stephen Curry had a tough shooting night, making 7 of 20 shots for 15 points. Former Ute All-American Andrew Bogut had one of his better games of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes had 11 off the bench.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick 14-6 lead, forcing a Jazz timeout after a sequence that saw Kanter miss a dunk and the Warriors score the other way on a fast break with Curry hitting Thompson with a nifty left-handed behind-the-back pass.
By the end of the quarter it was 27-13 Golden State. It was an abysmal quarter for the Jazz, who made just 6 of 22 shots, with Hayward continuing his 5-for-23 funk from the previous night, going 0 for 4, and Diante Garrett coming off the bench to go 0 for 3 with none of his three shots drawing iron.
In the second quarter, the Warriors heated up from 3-point range, making four in four straight possessions, with Thompson and Iguodala taking turns. The lead got as high as 19 before the Warriors ultimately took a 51-34 lead into the locker room.
The Jazz showed some life in the third quarter with John Lucas III starting at point and sinking a 3-pointer, while Hayward got cranking with a pair of 3s and a baseline jumper to cut the lead to 61-54 with 5:30 left.
Golden State seemed content to sit on its big lead, but after seeing the advantage fall to single digits, the Wariors put on a spurt at the end of the quarter to push the lead to 74-63 as Jefferson hit one at the buzzer for the Jazz.
"I thought the third quarter the guys were still showing fight and executing at times, but we've got to put together longer stretches, especially on the road,'' said Corbin.
Hayward came back from a poor first half without a field goal to score nine in the third quarter. However, he missed two free throws at the start of the fourth quarter that could have cut the lead to nine. The Jazz stayed 10 points down until the midway point when things got away from them.
As for playing again Monday night in Salt Lake City, both coaches just shrugged off idea of playing again so soon.
“It has its advantages and its disadvantages,’’ said Warrior coach Mark Jackson. “There is nothing that they are going to do that we don’t know and when we see them again it will be the same thing. It will be about executing our game plan and take them individually and collectively out of their comfort zone.”
“We have to play them now or later. That’s just the way they schedule it and we have to play it,’’ said Corbin.