The Warriors were playing their third game in four nights. The Jazz were playing their first game of the post Big Al/Millsap/Foye/Mo/DMC/Earl/JT/Murphy era.
A tale of 4 quarters.
Jazz starters: Burke, Hayward, Jefferson, Favors, Kanter.
Warriors starters: Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee, Bogut.
“On paper” the Warriors are a better team, so this was a good test for the Jazz to see how they could hang with a playoff contender. The Warriors tried to establish their low-post presence right away. It’s smart because it’ll free up the perimeter later, and since Favors is so foul-prone they might be able to get him out of the game early. Bogut and Lee were clearly bothered by Favors and Kanter, and it showed these two #3 picks are going to be able to bother a lot of people. Favors had two blocks in the first four minutes.
The offense didn’t start as smoothly. The Jazz missed several shots and fell behind 15-7. Evans came in for Kanter, and a couple minutes later, Burks came in for Jefferson. Gordon Hayward’s steal for an errant Iguodala pass turned the momentum around, and the Jazz went on a 12-4 run to end the quarter tied at 19-19.
Bench play was wobbly until Alec Burks and John Lucas III took over and scored the next 12 points. Speights was able to score on the much skinnier Jeremy Evans, but Evans was able to win any rebound between them. The game started getting away from the Warriors until Steph Curry came in to hit some unconscious outside shots, but they still ended the half trailing the Jazz 53-40.
The closest the Warriors were ever able to make the game in the second half was 10 points off some David Lee free-throws to make it 57-47. The Jazz starters all took turns scoring and the Warriors began showing true signs of fatigue. The bench players were subbed in sooner, and the third quarter drew to a close with the Jazz up 76-61.
Jeremy Evans scored the first four points and pulled down the first four rebounds for the Jazz to start the quarter. Rudy Gobert finally saw court-time, and his patronus remains a baby giraffe, but his mere length bothered some shots and he pulled down five rebounds for the quarter, not to mention four fouls. Harris, Holiday, Clark and Machado all made it on the floor in the final few minutes of garbage time, leaving Hudson, Cook and Jones as the three DNP-CD’s. Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush also did not play due to recovering from their injuries. Final score: 101-78
Trey Burke was 5-14 from the floor. Steph Curry was 4-14.
Burke and Hayward played the most Jazz minutes at 26. Hayward had 8 assists, which would tie his career high, and it would have been in the fewest amount of minutes. Burke had 3 assists but only one turnover.
The Jazz out-rebounded the Warriors 62-41, out-assisted them 23-15, and out-blocked them 8-5. The Warriors did have a 7-5 advantage in steals.
David Locke reported that Mo Williams and Randy Foye were the worst rebounding starting back-court in the history of the NBA. Burke and Hayward had 9 rebounds between them. Incidentally I like Hayward as a 2-guard. He’s a defensive match-up problem for the other, he’ll have his hands on the ball more, and it frees the Jazz to find another big guy for their small forward spot. I would think Marvin will be slid into that position when he comes back, but Jefferson wasn’t bad.