The Utah Jazz started Friday night's game off in style with a smooth alley-oop pass from Trey Burke to Jeremy Evans for an easy basket. Without Derrick Favors in the lineup, the Jazz were a little weak in the post, and the Golden State Warriors did an excellent job at exposing that weakness.
Andrew Bogut, the Warriors' starting center, dominated the paint by putting up outstanding numbers. Bogut had six points, eight rebounds and four assists in the first quarter alone. With the Jazz having a handful to deal with in the paint, Stephen Curry added to the headache by draining three of four 3-point attempts from deep and scoring a total of 11 points.
While Curry seemed to be scoring at will on the offensive end, Jeremy Evans was having a great quarter on the Jazz’s behalf. He ended the quarter with eight points, two rebounds and one assist. The Jazz went into the second quarter down two points with a score of 23-21.
Alec Burks came out strong in the second quarter, sinking several buckets that allowed the Jazz to stay in the game against a hot Warriors team. Curry didn’t see much playing time in the second quarter, only playing 5:38 minutes and scoring one point. Without the sharpshooter in the game, the Jazz executed well on both sides of the ball by going 11 of 18 from the field and totaling 27 points to the Warriors' 18 points in the second quarter.
Though the Jazz had an excellent quarter, they suffered a devastating blow when they lost Evans due to a bruised tailbone and bruised right elbow after hitting the floor hard while attempting to grab a rebound. He left the game with 3:08 left in the quarter and did not return.
As the game progressed, so did the Jazz’s offense. They seemed to pick up the pace on the offensive side of the ball but still lacked the ability to stop a blazing hot Curry. Simply put, the Jazz never figured out how to stop the pick and roll that gave Curry wide-open looks. He ended the game with 44 points shooting 8 of 13 from 3-point land.
Fans couldn’t have asked for a more exciting game. Though Gordon Hayward didn’t have a great game, the rest of the team picked up the slack. Both teams traded baskets for about the last three minutes and had EnergySolutions Arena filled with electrifying energy. In the end, the Warriors had too much firepower that the Jazz just couldn’t handle. The Warriors ended up winning 95-90.
Jonathan Ubri is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho and works as a digital marketing strategist at Deseret Digital Media. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org