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 email@example.com
The Jazz’s starting guards played a decent game, given the tough challenge they had of guarding Stephen Curry, who ended the night with 44 points. Trey Burke had only four points but did a great job distributing the ball with six assists. Gordon Hayward on the other hand struggled to find his game. He ended with eight points, nine rebounds and a disappointing eight turnovers. Good thing they had Alec Burks and Diante Garrett who stepped up and combined for 39 points when they really mattered.
Jeremy Evans was on pace to have an outstanding game, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds early in the game until he had to be helped off the court after suffering a bruised tailbone and a bruised right elbow after hitting the floor hard during a rebound attempt. Meanwhile, the other forwards on both teams had pretty quiet nights, all scoring in single figures.
While not having starting center Derrick Favors on the court, Utah’s other centers had to carry the weight for the Jazz guarding former University of Utah player Andrew Bogut. The big man racked up 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while Enes Kanter handled his own by scoring 15 points around the paint and grabbing seven rebounds. It was a battle of the fittest for a good portion of the game, and in the end, the Warriors’ big men came out victorious.
Coach Tyrone Corbin and his team made some smart and strategic substitutions during the game and did a great job at managing the clock. Toward the end of the game, it was pretty apparent that Gordon Hayward was becoming more of a liability than an asset. It became quite audible in the crowd that the fans would have liked to see him spend the final minutes of the game on the bench. Apparently, Corbin didn’t think so and left him for the remainder of the game that led to a crucial turnover by Hayward in the final seconds.
The officials seemed to have a pretty consistent game. They were calling good and bad calls for both teams. Though the fans would have probably appreciated more calls in the home team’s favor, the game was called pretty evenly.
The Warriors had an excellent game from Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut. Curry tallied 44 points while shooting 8 for 13 from 3-point land and Bogut recorded a double-double by scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. They were a bit inconsistent in the second quarter but overcame any troubles by taking control in the rest of the game and solidifying the win. At the end of the day, they were the better team tonight.
EnergySolutions Arena lived up to its name and was filled with electrifying energy. The crowd couldn’t have asked for a better environment than the Jazz organization provided Friday. The Utah Jazz honored Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan by raising a “1,223” banner into the rafters representing the number of wins he earned as the head coach of the Jazz. Add an exciting basketball game to that momentous event and you have a great night with Utah basketball.