The Golden State Warriors suffered one of their worst losses of the season, getting blasted 129-96 by the Utah Jazz.
Utah is the hottest team in the NBA, winning 18 of their last 20 games, and looked the part in Chase Center against their overmatched opponents. Jazz center Rudy Gobert exploded for 22 points and 15 rebounds in only about three quarters of work. This was a game the Dubs really coulda used Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the length of Kevon Looney, but injuries have taken them from us for the time being.
The shorthanded Warriors looked, well, short as the 7-foot-1 Gobert bullied them in the paint. That created opportunities for the Jazz to take a 56-37 rebounding advantage, leading to a 46-36 Utah edge in paint points. If you add that to the Jazz’s 17 made threes and their stifling defense (Golden State was held to 39% shooting from the field), it was a recipe for disaster for the home team.
Utah marched onto the Warriors’ home floor and immediately went to work, racing out to a 31-17 advantage after one quarter. It was clear early on that Utah’s size advantage with Gobert was going to pay immediate dividends. He was a brick wall screener during pick-and-rolls, and a terror on the glass.
The giant rolled to 15 points and 11 rebounds by the half. For reference, he came into this contest averaging around 15 points and 14 boards PER GAME!
January 23rd 2020
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell added 15 points of his own early as the Warriors defense feebly lost track of the well orchestrated Jazz attack. Utah outshot the Dubs from the field 52% to 36% while outscoring them in the paint 30 to 14.
The only bright side for Golden State at intermission? D’Angelo Russell leading the way with 15 points.
Utah stretched their lead as high as 31 in the third period. The beating was so thorough that I began to wonder exactly what Gobert’s career high in scoring was. Hmmm, 35 points against the Knicks in 2017.
Fortunately (depending how you look at it) for the Warriors, they were down damn near 35 points after three quarters, leading the Jazz to mercifully take Gobert out of the game.
In the grand scheme of things, the fourth quarter was basically a slow descent into yet another Golden State loss to a superior team. There would be no ferocious late game comeback that this feisty club is oftentimes known for. But it was not from a lack of effort; we even witnessed a big Marquese Chriss slam that got a sharply dressed Thompson up on his feet.
The contest was just another reminder of how menacing Utah can be, and how badly the Warriors miss having their starpower.