Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jaz battled hard with the Golden State Warriors on the road, but the defending champions used a strong second half to earn a 115-94 win.
G-Time finished the game with 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds, two assists and a steal in the losing effort. Hayward helped the Jazz go on a key run late in the first after they fell behind early to make it a 43-41 game, but the Warriors hit three consecutive treys to close out the half and damper Utah’s momentum.
“I think for the most part [the game] got away from us early in the third,” Gordon said. “Truthfully, the end of the first half was a huge momentum swing.”
In the first quarter H20 got things going with a successful attempt from beyond the arc to make it a 9-8 game, and Shelvin Mack hit the ensuing bucket to put the Jazz up by one 6:58 into the contest. Later in the frame, Gordon cut to the rim and finished with a nifty slam to trim Utah’s deficit to three points at the 2:57 mark of the first.
Entering the second, the Jazz trailed by a score of 23-21 and the game was still very much up for grabs. Utah fell behind by eight late in the second, but Hayward helped spark a run to make things more interesting. G-Time kicked off the 13-7 run to bring his squad within two points on back-to-back trips to the free throw line.
H20 alertly drew contact on both Utah possessions and drained all four of his freebies with ease. Trey Burke went on to score seven of Utah’s next nine points to get the Jazz within striking distance. However, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson alternated successful three-pointers and the reigning MVP, whom the Jazz held to a season-low 12 points, hit a highlight-reel half-court shot at the buzzer to put the Warriors up 52-41 at halftime.
“That kind of discouraged us, obviously,” Burke said of Curry’s half-courter. “We would’ve been down five. Momentum shifted, and obviously we know he is capable of hitting that shot. They’re such a good team at home. You have to find a way to match their energy on both ends of the court.”
Gordon came out and scored the first points of the second half for the Jazz on a fadeaway bank-shot to make it a 54-43. Shortly thereafter, G-Time made a nice play on another driving-slam to bring Utah within single-digits, 64-55, with 5:54 left in the third, but that’s as close of the Jazz came for the duration of this one.
Golden State went on a 17-8 run to close out the quarter and cushion its lead entering the final frame. With the bout essentially out of reach, Gordon knocked down his second three of the contest with 6:11 remaining in regulation to make it a 99-81 game, but the Warriors showed why they haven’t lost at home all season and held on for the victory.
“To win here would have been quite a feat,” Quin Snyder said. “We’re going to have some more opportunities in the 18 games left. Hopefully we get a chance to get some wins and just keep grinding and see where we end up.”
WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS – MAR. 11
- x – Golden State Warriors (57-6)
- x – San Antonio Spurs (55-10) 3 GB
- Oklahoma City Thunder (44-20) 13.5 GB
- Los Angeles Clippers (41-22) 16 GB
- Memphis Grizzlies (38-26) 19.5 GB
- Portland Trail Blazers (34-31) 24 GB
- Dallas Mavericks (33-32) 25 GB
- Houston Rockets (32-32) 25.5 GB
- Utah Jazz (29-35) 28.5 GB
Hayward and the Jazz (29-35) will prepare to take on the Washington Wizards (30-33) on Friday night. Utah will look to avenge its 103-89 road defeat about a month ago on Feb. 18 in a game where G-Time led his team with 19 points.
The Wiz are in the midst of a three-game skid after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers this past week. With the Jazz now three games behind the Houston Rockets for the No. 8 seed they will look to advantage of a struggling Washington squad at home and regain some ground.
Friday’s content is slated to start at 7 p.m. MST from Vivint Smart Home Arena and will be aired on ROOT.
- Game Book: Jazz at Warriors (NBA, Mar. 9, 2016)
- Curry 55-foot buzzer beater at half highlights Warriors win (AP, Mar. 10, 2016)
- Warriors just too powerful for the Jazz in a 115-94 blowout (Deseret News, Mar. 9, 2016)
- It’s playoff crunch time for the slumping Utah Jazz, but there’s still hope (Deseret News, Mar. 10, 2016)
- Utah Jazz lack weapons, lose to Golden State Warriors (Salt Lake Tribune, Mar. 9, 2016)