SAN FRANCISCO (AP)The Utah Jazz thrive on making that one extra pass to pile up assists, even if it means they run right up against the shot clock on many possessions.
It sure helps to have the steady hand of Rudy Gobert in the post to finish.
Gobert had 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Donovan Mitchell scored 23 to lead the streaking Jazz past the Golden State Warriors 129-96 on Wednesday night.
”It’s something our team values. Sometimes you get to a point where you’re up against the shot clock because they’re making another pass, but it’s infectious,” coach Quin Snyder said. ”When guys start doing that, the shots become easier when you know that your teammates are endorsing them with an extra pass.”
D’Angelo Russell overcame a slow start to score 26 points for the Warriors, who lost for the 11th time in 12 games and couldn’t build any momentum at Chase Center after ending a five-game home losing streak with Saturday’s victory over Orlando.
Marquese Chriss of the Warriors and Utah’s Tony Bradley were ejected with 21.9 seconds left after jawing at each other.
Gobert shot 10 for 13. He pulled down six rebounds in the first quarter as Utah jumped to a big lead, shooting 61.9% in the opening 12 minutes. The Jazz hit 13 of their first 20 shots but then missed five in a row while the Warriors were just 7 for 24 – including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers.
Golden State’s Draymond Green picked up his NBA-leading 12th technical at the 5:28 mark of the third, moving him within four of an automatic one-game suspension. Green returned and had five points and four rebounds in 25 minutes after he missed the previous two games, first with a sprained left index finger and then when he wasn’t feeling well during Monday’s 129-124 overtime loss at Portland.
Golden State welcomed back two other players from injuries after losing at Portland with just eight available – the fourth time this season the Warriors have been that thin because of injuries or other circumstances.
Joe Ingles dished out eight of 31 assists for the Jazz, five in the first quarter, in Utah’s third straight victory and 13th in 14 games as the teams wrapped up their season series with the fourth meeting.
”I think we ran into a team that’s playing about as well as anybody in the league,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”They’re clicking, they’re dominating right now. They dominated us at both ends right from the beginning and I thought we got demoralized in the first half. That was probably the biggest disappointment. I just didn’t love our energy or body language. That’s sometimes the way it goes when you’re struggling.”
Jazz guard Mike Conley scored eight points in 19 minutes, playing his third game after missing 14 straight and 19 of 20 with tightness in his left hamstring. He scored 14 points in a 118-88 win against the Pacers on Monday, increasing his minutes from 15-plus to nearly 18.
Kerr certainly believes Gobert deserves his first All-Star nod. The Warriors coach has a criteria for picking his All-Stars, and one of them is winning – ”players that are playing on winning teams,” he said. Gobert, Utah’s 7-foot-1 center, fits that bill.
”He’s absolutely one of those guys who’s right there every year,” Kerr said. ”He has not made it yet? That’s surprising to me. But I think every year he’s for sure one of those guys in that group who’s going to be close, right on the edge. I think this year probably will have a better chance based on their success, but that’s without having really looked at the numbers yet, either.”
Jazz: Gobert received a technical foul with 6:27 left in third and his team ahead 82-52. … Utah, which has won eight of the last 10 meetings in the series, swept Golden State for the first time since winning all three games in 2009-10, and took all four games for the first time since 2001-02. … The Jazz had lost nine of 12 on the Warriors’ home floor.
Warriors: G Jacob Evans III was cleared from concussion protocol before the game and played wearing a protective mask on his broken nose following a three-game absence since he took an elbow in the face from Dallas F Dwight Powell last Tuesday. F Glenn Robinson III also came back after sitting out the previous two games with a sprained right ankle. … Russell has scored 20 or more points in 10 of his last 12 games. … Golden State is 5-11 at home against Western Conference opponents and 7-27 vs. the West overall. The Warriors dropped to 7-16 at home. … Warriors rookie Eric Paschall scored in double figures for the seventh straight game with 11 points.
Jazz: Host Dallas on Saturday having won the last six matchups with the Mavericks at home.
Warriors: Host Indiana on Friday night before a five-game East Coast road trip. The Warriors have won the past two meetings with the Pacers.
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