ORACLE ARENA, OAKLAND, CA — Two nights after disposing of the Pelicans, the Golden State Warriors (66-14) were back at home to face the Utah Jazz (49-31).
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided to rest Klay Thompson, while Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain), Kevon Looney (left hip strain), and Damian Jones (D-League assignment) were also out.
The Jazz listed Derrick Favors (left knee), Gordon Hayward (left quad), Rodney Hood (right knee) and Raul Neto (left ankle) were listed as out.
Q1: Hill On Fire
Golden State got off to a rough start, missing a few shots after Kevin Durant hit his first jumper, until Stephen Curry traded threes with Joe Ingles, but Draymond Green came back with a triple as well, from the right arc, to cut Utah’s lead to 16-13.
However, Durant threw the ball away and George Hill got a run-out layup, but Curry came back and drew three free throws, but only made two of them.
Hill, shooting 39% from distance this season, then hit a three and Kerr took a timeout as the Jazz had an early 21-15 lead with 6:25 remaining.
Shortly thereafter, Steph hit a three…
…a right baseline jumper, and threw a touchdown pass off a Utah miss to Andre Iguodala, who found Durant in transition, who then found Green running the lane for a fast break.
Shelvin Mack responded, though, with a runner that JaVale McGee blocked off the board for a goal tending call.
Even as Draymond came back with a lob for an alley-oop to McGee, and JaVale swatted Dante Exum from behind…
…that ended with a Curry scoop, Mack answered again with a goal tending, this time more questionable, and a Steph turnover trying to find Iguodala in early offense left the Warriors still trailing, 29-28, with 2:08 to play.
Joe Johnson came in for the Jazz and promptly hit a three, which got matched by Steph from the top, Shaun Livingston hit a turnaround jumper from the elbow, Johnson stripped Iguodala, but Iguodala blocked Alec Burks at the other end, and Ian Clark couldn’t get an upfake-runner to go before the buzzer, and Utah took a 33-32 lead into the second stanza.
Hill led all scorers with 10 points.
Hill stayed hot, drilling two treys in a row, David West hit two jumpers, but Joel Bolomboy smashed a massive one-hand reverse jam, and that gave the Jazz a 45-35 lead.
West drew a forearm turnover on a Joe Ingles drive, Kerr put Curry back in, West tapped in a Steph miss, then Curry hit a three, and Durant led a break after a rebound, finding Patrick McCaw on a baseline cut for two more, and Golden State roared back to a 45-44 deficit with 3:56 to go as Jazz head coach Quin Snyder called timeout.
Closing out the half, West lasered a pass to Durant down low, then Steph sent an overhead pass that seemingly went through the body of the defending Gobert to reach a wide-open Zaza Pachulia under the hoop, and the Warriors sported a 51-47 lead with 54 seconds left:
With 33.7 seconds remaining, Gobert got hard-fouled by Draymond on the baseline, but surprisingly, the refs reviewed the play, which could have gone either way, a common foul.
Gobert hit both free throws, Steph raced down the court, changed direction with a beautiful behind-the-back dribble, but missed the scoop as Gobert challenged.
But Ingles’ drive on the last possession was stolen by Green, Durant found Curry in transition, and Steph missed the jumper at the buzzer, hesitating for a moment and forgetting that he only had about a second on the clock, taking an un-needed extra dribble in the process.
The Warriors, however, still led 51-49 heading into the break. Curry led all scorers with 21 points on 5-for-6 from downtown and 7-for-12 overall.
(Photo: @letsgowarriors Instagram account via @ekristinas)