For the first 33 minutes of their Thursday game, the Utah Jazz looked spry, focused and driven. The last 15 minutes were a totally different story, as the dynamic Golden State Warriors went on an offensive spree to break the game open. The Warriors doled the Jazz their second loss in two nights, 119-101.
The high-octane backcourt of Stephon Curry and Monta Ellis combined for 62 points on 23 of 35 field goal attempts. Curry added 12 assists, and David Lee added 23 points and 14 rebounds.
While the normally potent Jazz bench struggled, Utah’s starters put 83 points on the board. Tyrone Corbin’s squad looked fairly sharp most of the game, but it appeared they ran out of gas in the second half.
Shell shocked: At one point, the Jazz led 58-52 and kept it close until the end of the third quarter. And then the Golden State Warriors happened, outscoring the visitors 67-43 the rest of the way. This included a 40-point third quarter, as well as devastating 18-2 run that put the game out of question. As they are apt to do, the Warriors did this on an array of quick moves, deft passing and fast breaks.
Outhustled: From the onset, Golden State seemed quicker to the ball, going after loose balls and rebounds with tenacity. They outrebounded Utah 47-43, but it was the 22 big offensive boards that made the difference. Throw in 10 steals and six blocked shots, as well as 20 fast break points for good measure, and the Warriors dominated the Jazz.
Stepping up: The Utah Jazz came into the Bay Area missing three key players, a trio that contributes 19.1 points, 10.3 assists and 70.8 minutes per outing. Sans starters Raja Bell and Devin Harris, as well as resident heart and soul Earl Watson, there was a need for players to step up. And step up several did, albeit in a losing cause.
First was third point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Suddenly thrust into the starting lineup, his heady play was a key for Utah all evening. Tinsley was calm and collected in his first extended playing time this whole season. His line was impressive: nine points, 13 assists and six rebounds. Given the injuries of those in front of him, Tinsley’s play was encouraging, to say the least.
Gordon Hayward continued his recent streak of aggressive play, leading Utah with 21 points, while also recording four rebounds and four assists. His confidence continues to grow. Small forward Josh Howard broke out of his five-game slump with 19 points and four assists of his own.
Rookie Alec Burks was given the backup point guard minutes and did a decent job, scoring seven points.
David Smith is providing instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage this season. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.
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