Jazz take a 'Walis TingTing' to the Chase Center to Sweep the Season Series against the Golden State Warriors
By Tom Macasaet
Fri, 24 Jan 2020
View from beneath the Chase Center scoreboard (pic:Tom Macasaet)
January 22, 2020, San Francisco, Ca. - The Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz met for the series finale between the two teams for the season.
With the Dubs already short-handed without their two all-star champions, Klay and Steph, they were glad to have Draymond Green back to play after recovering from the flu and Jacob Evans III cleared from concussion protocol. The Jazz were running at full strength having all their starters available.
The Jazz had the opportunity to rest their big man, Rudy Gobert, in preparation for two big upcoming games at home against the Mavs and the Rockets, but with the competitive young Warriors team keeping their opponents honest, Head Coach Quin Snyder took no chances with having trouble against the Warrior's own big man Willie Cauley-Stein.
The last two games between the two were close, with scores of 113-109 last November and 114-106 in December. The Jazz came out on top each time.
Last night's game gave the Utah Jazz a chance to sweep the series against the Warriors for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
The Dubs were coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss Monday night against the Portland Trailblazers, giving it all they had and still coming up short. In that game, Alec Burks scored a season-high 33 points, and Eric Paschall recorded his 3rd career double-double. Unfortunately, Damien Lillard had his usual night against the Warriors scoring 61 points to send the game to overtime and eventually defeat the Warriors, sending them home with their 35th loss of the season.
There’s obviously something about playing against the Warriors that brings out the best in Lillard.
Wednesday night was a chance for the Warriors to get back on the winning side at home against the Western Conference second seed Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, the Jazz had other plans for their visit to the Chase Center in San Francisco.
The Warriors started the game with good energy keeping up with the Jazz trading basket for basket. But it didn’t take long for the Jazz to break away from the Warriors as Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert shot efficiently at around 60% vs. the Warriors 31%.
By the end of the first quarter, the Jazz were up 31-17. Things didn’t get any better for the Warriors in the second quarter as they continued to struggle with their shots.
Utah’s defense gave the Dubs lots of chances at good looks and open shots, but to no avail.
The Warriors seemed to miss as many shots as the Jazz made shots.
It was hard to watch the Warriors struggle to make shots that would fall for them on any other day.
Was it a lack of energy after playing so well on Monday night in Portland only to fall short again?
Or was it the strain of the season starting to come down on them?
It’s hard to say, but it’s not good either way.
By the end of the first half, the Jazz were up 65-43 with both Mitchell and Gobert leading the way in scoring for them.
Another Utah player having a strong game was none other than Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson, who has been doing well coming off the bench for the Jazz.
Jordan, who was traded from Cleveland for Dante Exum and two future second-round draft picks last Christmas Eve, seems to have found a better home for himself surrounded with the strong talent of Gobert, Mitchell and Bogdanovic.
He doesn’t have the same pressures from playing for the Lakers early in his career until he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he never seemed to find his game. He only had a few highlight-worthy games while playing as a Cavalier.
His new role off the bench is helping him to be a strong 6th man, adding energy on the floor when his number is called by Coach Quin Snyder.
The second half of the game was too much for the Warriors in trying to mount a comeback.
The frustration of the game started to show on the faces of the team and their coach. With each missed basket by the Warriors, the Jazz came back to score.
It just wasn’t their night.
The Jazz didn’t play out-of-this-world level basketball. It’s much easier to win a game when your opponent’s can’t make their shots. The Jazz led by as many as 36 points in the second half, but the Warriors never gave up. They continued to play as hard and competitive like the professional athletes they are. But by the end of regulation, the Jazz had outplayed the Warriors, and finished with the score of 129-96. D’Angelo Russell led all players scoring 26 points in a losing effort. The Dubs are 0-13 when scoring 99-or-fewer points in a game.
Coach Steve Kerr summed it up with his post-game analysis of his team:
“I think we ran into a team that’s playing about as well as anybody in the league. They are clicking and they are dominating right now, and they dominated us on both ends right from the beginning. Thought we got demoralized in the first half. That was probably the biggest disappointment. I didn’t love our energy or body language. Sometimes, that’s the way it goes when you are struggling. We tried to fight a little harder in the second half, and I thought we did somewhat, but we were demoralized. That’s a hell of a team over there.”
The Warriors now move on to the next game against Indiana this Friday. Hopefully they will be able to shake off this horrible loss and return Friday at home to get a win against the 29-16 Indiana Pacers.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Tom Macasaet.
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