Instant Replay: Curry carries Warriors in win over Jazz

Instant Replay: Curry carries Warriors in win over Jazz
January 31, 2014, 9:45 pm
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Stephen Curry carried a struggling Warriors squad on Friday night with a game high 44 points, as Golden State narrowly beat the Jazz 95-90. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

Stephen Curry did his part, a season-high 44 points worth.

Andrew Bogut did his part, 16 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and three blocks worth.

And in the end, their work – and stellar fourth-quarter defense – was just enough for the Warriors to pull out a 95-90 win over the Jazz on Friday night at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

With power forward David Lee sidelined with shoulder and hip injuries, the Warriors (29-19) needed someone to provide potent offensive support for Curry. That's where Bogut came in. He had to, because nobody else answered the call.

Certainly, none of the most likely candidates did. Not Klay Thompson, not Andre Iguodala and not Harrison Barnes, who started in place of Lee. Thompson shot 3-for-20 from the field, Barnes was 2-for-10 and Iguodala was 1-for-6.

So Curry took it upon himself to carry the team to its second win in two nights. He anchored a second-half rally, scoring 30 points after halftime. He made 14 of 26 shots, including 8 of 13 from 3-point distance.

But it was the Warriors' defense that carved out the win at the end, forcing seven fourth-quarter turnovers and holding Utah to 19 points over the quarter.

The Utah bench outscored the Warriors, 48-12, with Alec Burks and Diante Garrett combining for 39 points to lead the way. The Jazz (16-30) was denied in its attempt to win a third successive game, despite the energy generated during a celebration of former coach Jerry Sloan.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS: Curry and Bogut carried the water and everything else, accounting for 60 of the team's 95 points.

TURNING POINT: Trailing 77-68 with 8:55 left in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a lightning-quick 17-4 run, taking an 85-81 lead with 4:24 left in the final frame. Curry drained three 3-pointer during the run.

INJURY UPDATE: Lee (left shoulder sprain) did not play but is expected to return to action next week. C Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery) is out but also could return next week. C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) and G Nemanja Nedovic (strained left hamstring) are out indefinitely.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors get a Super Bowl weekend schedule break, not returning to action until next Tuesday when they face Charlotte in the finale of their two-game season series. The Bobcats were 115-111 winners on Dec. 9 in Charlotte. The Warriors swept both games last season.

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