Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — There was a stretch in the second half Monday night when EnergySolutions Arena was rocking.
Fans were going bonkers, the Utah Jazz were scoring in bunches and playing stellar defense during a lengthy run, and the home team owned all of the momentum.
That massive 14-0 run by the Jazz only managed to trim the Golden State Warriors’ game-high lead in half during what turned out to be a 98-87 win for the visitors.
“If there’s anything good, I think the group that played in the second half did a good job giving us effort,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We executed. We were able to make some shots. All of the guys that came out in that second half I thought did a good job for us.”
They just did it after falling behind by 28 points, leading to the team’s 11th loss in 12 outings this season.
“You can’t dig yourselves that big of a hole,” Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said. “It’s encouraging that we still put forth the effort in the second half, but a loss is a loss, so no solace for me.”
In truth, that too-little-too-late surge wasn’t Utah’s only problem.
The bigger dilemma: Stephen Curry.
The smooth-stroking sharpshooter didn’t score in the first quarter and didn’t play for the final nine minutes because of a raging headache after Marvin Williams accidentally fell on him, making his head hit the hardwood.
But Curry still led the Warriors (8-3) to a second win in three nights over Utah (1-11) with 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each chipped in with 17 points for a Golden State team that drilled 12 of 22 3-pointers.
“I thought we executed offensively and again we did the job defensively,” said Golden State coach Mark Jackson, whose team beat Utah 102-88 in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday. “Good win for us.”
There were other problems for the Jazz, who fell for the third game in a row after earning their only win last Wednesday.
Utah continued to be the most consistent team in the NBA, which in this case is not a good thing.
Try 39.5 percent from the field.
They had plenty of offensive issues in a 36-point first half.
That happened in the second quarter when the Warriors scored 37 points and turned a three-point lead into a double-digit advantage after two 3-pointers by Curry and one deep shot apiece by Thompson and Draymond Green.
It happened again in the third quarter when the Warriors pushed their 23-point halftime lead into a 68-40 edge in 3 1/2 minutes.
The final defensive slippage thwarted Utah’s third-quarter run as Curry scored five quick points and assisted for another Green bucket as Golden State quickly regained a 20-point lead with a 7-0 flurry to open the fourth quarter.
That all but sealed the deal after an exciting third quarter for Utah during which Diante Garrett returned to his first-night form after being subbed in for starting point guard Alec Burks. The new Jazzman had all eight of his points in the quarter.
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