Jazz snatched victory from Warriors win a thriller 124-123

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, rear, fouls Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga during the second half in Salt Lake City on Wed Dec 7, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors missed three starters Wednesday night when they faced the Utah Jazz at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. Stephen Curry was out with an ankle injury. Draymond Green could not play with a hip problem, and Andrew Wiggins has a groin injury.

The Jazz thought they could coast to an easy win. The revamped Warrior lineup gave the Jazz fits. Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga, and Donte DiVincenzo all played well and their effort almost, but not quite, got them a win. The Jazz found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they found a way and were able to send their fans home happy with a thrilling 124-123 victory. 

The Warriors won the first half 69-66. Jordan Poole led the team with 21 points in the first 24 minutes. Klay Thompson had 11, and Kuminga added nine. The Warriors and Jazz played a very entertaining first half. Neither team could pull away.

The Warriors led most of the way, but Utah came right back. Jordan Clarkson, Malik Beasley, and Collin Sexton led the way for Utah. The teams raced up and down the court. The Warriors head coach had Ty Jerome and JaMychal Green in the starting lineup.

Green scored seven points in the first quarter to help the Warriors finish the period leading 35-30. The Jazz outscored the Warriors 36-34 in the second period. The Warriors second unit did not fold as the Jazz attacked the basket. Kuminga, Thompson, Anthony Lamb, and Poole played well. At the end of the half, the Warriors led by three, 69-66.

The third quarter belonged to the Jazz. Utah focused on shutting down Poole. The Jazz outscored the Warriors by 12, 34-22. The Jazz made seven threes to put them in the driver’s seat. The Warriors missed several layups. Golden State could not get the threes to fall. Utah finished the third quarter leading 100-91. 

The Jazz increased the lead to ten, 110-100, early in the fourth quarter. The Warriors’ Poole hit a three and a two-pointer to close the gap to 111-109. Moody connected on a three to make it a one-point game 113-112. The momentum had shifted to the Warriors. Utah scored the next four points, but Moody sunk another three to creep within two, 117-115.

Poole made a bucket to tie the game. Kuminga’s bucket gave the Warriors the lead 119-117 with 36 seconds left. Jordan Clarkson was driving to the basket to tie the score. Kuminga blocked his shot and grabbed the rebound. Clarkson whacked Jonathan in the face.

Tempers flared. Both players were given a technical foul. Referee Mark Davis hit Clarkson with a flagrant two-foul. Clarkson was ejected from the game. Kuminga was awarded two free three, and the Warriors retained possession. Kuminga made one free three. Poole was fouled, and he missed one.

The Warriors led 123-119 with 13.3 seconds left to play. The Jazz scored a bucket to make it 123-122 with 6.7 seconds left. All the Warriors had to do was get the ball inbounded and run out the clock. The Jazz probably would foul and hope to get the last shot. What could go wrong?

The Warriors had trouble getting the ball into play. They called a timeout to go over what to do. The plan was to get the ball into Poole’s hands. The Warriors did get the ball to him, but Utah was all over him and stole the ball. The Jazz scored the winning layup as time expired. All the Warriors could do was wonder what went wrong. They will have a tough flight home. The Jazz won the game 124-123.

Game Notes and stats: With the loss, the Warriors are 13-13. The Jazz improved to 15-12

There were many positives in the game. Kuminga played his best game of the year. Kuminga had a season-high 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Kuminga played very well on defense, too. Poole led the club with 36 points, four boards, and eight assists. Thompson tallied 22 points and had four threes. DiVincenzo had seven points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Those numbers are very similar to what Draymond Green would do. 

The Warriors shot 46% from the floor. They made 14 threes. They almost won in an arena that has been a house of horrors for them over the years. 

The Jazz had seven players in double figures. Jodan Clarkson led the Jazz with 22. Simone Fontecchio had 18, Malik Beasley 18, Collin Sexton 17, Kelly Olynyk 15, Mickeil Alexander-Walker 11, and Walker Kessler had ten points and 12 rebounds. Kessler is 7’1, and Kelly Olynyk is 6’11. 

The Warriors host the Boston Celtics at the Chase Center Saturday night. Last year, the Warriors beat the Celtics in the Finals to become NBA Champions. The Celtics will be hoping to gain revenge by beating the Warriors on their homecourt Saturday night.

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