Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, tries to get the ball to the basket against Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley at the Chase Center on Sun Jan 23, 2022 (AP News photo)
Warriors Edge Jazz 94-92
By Barbara Mason
After winning a buzzer beater courtesy of Stephen Curry Friday night against the Houston Rockets, Golden State (34-13) was back at Chase hosting the Utah Jazz (30-17) on Saturday night. This will be a tough game for the Warriors and they cannot afford the turnovers and the missed open shots that we have seen lately. The Warriors would just get by the Jazz 94-92.
The Jazz will play without Donovan Mitchell tonight out on concussion protocol but will have Rudy Gobert available despite some ankle soreness. Mike Conley is playing probably the best of his career and so the Warriors will have their hands full.
Both of these teams depend heavily on shots from downtown. The Warriors have recently struggled with three point shots and will need to start making those starting tonight against Utah. The Jazz are the highest scoring team in the league and will give Golden State a run for their money.
The first quarter was a high energy start from both teams. The Warriors led at the end of one 33-29. The Warriors were shooting at 54% and the Jazz 53% in this evenly matched game. The Warriors had four from downtown and the Jazz shot five.
Damien Lee had a crazy first half going 4 of 5 from downtown. Early in the second quarter the Warriors had taken a ten point lead 39-29. Damien Lee was a big part of this Golden State lead. The Warriors were moving the ball beautifully keeping the Utah defense off balance. What hurt Golden State were the empty possessions. The Jazz fought back to pull within two points and nothing about this game was going to be easy for either team.
Both teams were playing at a high level and as expected it was raining three’s for both teams. At the half the Warriors led by a single point 55-54. The Warriors shot ten from downtown and the Jazz had seven from beyond the arc. Lee was the Warriors point leader with 12 points and the Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic led with 15 points.
The Warriors needed to slow down Bogdanovic in the second half. They were protecting the ball having only four turnovers in the first half. This was a great first half for Golden State but there was still a lot of ball to be played.
It would prove to be a wild second half going right down to the wire. With eight seconds left on the clock the Jazz took a shot trying to tie up this game but the Warrior defense denied Utah. Golden State would win their second game in a row 94-92. The Warriors only scored eleven points in the fourth quarter but managed to come away with the win. The Jazz had a low scoring fourth as well with 17 points but just came up short.
Every starter for Golden State shot double digits, Poole being the high score with 20 points. Bogdanovic was the high for Utah with 21 points. This was a great win for the Warriors. The three’s starting dropping and the turnovers were kept to a minimum. This was exactly what the Warriors needed to win this game and they sure delivered.
Tuesday night the Warriors will take on the Mavericks at Chase. This will be another tough team with a lot of talent and it will be another exciting game. It seems as if Golden State really rises to the occasion when it comes to elite teams. Can the Warriors make it three in a row? We will find out Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.