Utah Jazz: Jazz fall to Warriors on the night that Utah franchise honors Jerry Sloan
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On a night when the Utah Jazz and their fans honored Jerry Sloan, one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, this year's youthful Jazz ballclub couldn't quite go out and do what Coach Sloan's teams did so well for so many seasons: find a way to win.
Golden State rode a superb performance from hot-shooting guard Stephen Curry to a 95-90 victory over the Jazz on Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena, where a banner honoring Sloan and his 1,223 career coaching victories in Utah was raised to the ESA rafters during a halftime ceremony in which an appreciative sellout crowd of 19,911 roared its approval.
Curry, whose dad Dell was a first-round draft choice of the Jazz when Sloan was an assistant coach for Utah in 1986, poured in 44 points on 14-of-26 shooting, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range. He was also 8-of-9 from the foul line, and it was his floater with 2:02 remaining that put the Warriors ahead for good, 89-88, on the way to their third victory over the Jazz this season.
"Curry's a load," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said of the Golden State guard, who scored 30 of his points in the second half, including 13 in the decisive fourth quarter. "He got hot. He was shooting it from deep. He would come down in transition, guys running at him, and he was still making them.
"We tried to double him, we gave him different looks, and we were chasing him off screens. He's a great shooter in this league. We knew he would be capable. We had to give him some different looks. He just made some tough shots."
Andrew Bogut, the former University of Utah star, added 16 points, pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds and even handed out a team-high five assists for the Warriors (29-19).
"I just let the game come to me," Bogut said. "I got some open looks from Steph because he was on fire out there. Thankfully I made them tonight.
"We won this game defensively in the fourth quarter, in my opinion. ... Steph was shooting the lights out. He basically carried us offensively."
Klay Thompson managed 11 points despite a dreadful 3-of-20 shooting night from the field for Golden State, which won despite shooting just 37.5 percent (33-of-88) from the field.
"The guys, I challenged them," said Golden State coach Mark Jackson, who spent one season of his playing career in a Jazz uniform. "The good teams, they play their best after they play their best. Not too many teams do that. And the challenge was for us to respond after a big win against the Clippers and put forth the same type of energy and effort.
"I thought the second half was great. Boges (Bogut) was spectacular. Draymond (Green) gave us great minutes. Steph (Curry) was obviously Steph.
"But just overall, a big-time win for us against a team that has certainly played better than they had played to start the season," he said. "... We gutted out a big win."
Alec Burks wound up with a team-leading 26 points for the Jazz, but after carrying them on his shoulders for much of the night, he missed a couple of shots in the final minute and a half with Utah desperately needing a basket.
"It's tough," Burks said of the disappointing defeat. "We got down a few players and with Jeremy (Evans) getting hurt, but we fought hard.
"He's an All-Star starter for a reason," he said of Curry's big night.
Enes Kanter added 15 points and seven rebounds, and Diante Garrett, who came in averaging just 3.1 points per game, scored an NBA career-best 13 for a short-handed Jazz team that was missing customary starters Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams.
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