Instant Replay: Warriors 94, Jazz 83

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Instant Replay: Warriors 94, Jazz 83

BOX SCORE

These Warriors don’t back down.

Golden State revealed an additional layer of its character with a 94-83 road victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

There were plenty of moments in the win emblematic of the Warriors’ transformed identity.

There was Jarrett Jack going chest-to-chest against Utah big man Enes Kanter. There was the brazen shooting and passing of Stephen Curry. And, of course, the don’t-worry-I’ve-got-this effort of Andris Biedrins.

“We are a better basketball team, a tougher basketball team, a whole different mindset,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “To win on the road you have to be tied together and we have a group of guys who are like brothers in there.”

All in all, the Warriors displayed their grit through a season-best defensive effort in which they allowed just 83 points on Utah’s 38.6 percent shooting. The win improved the Warriors to a league-best 9-1 record in games that follow a loss.

Curry Makes it Happen
It was a rare moment for Stephen Curry.

One of the game’s top shooters, Curry went cold in the third quarter, exhibited by an exceptionally scarce airball on an open perimeter jumper. Curry, who led all scorers in the first half with 18 points on 5-for-8 shooting, went just 2-for-10 in the second half.

But Curry, who finished the night with 23 points, found a way to do more when he couldn’t shoot and totaled eight rebounds and seven assists.

He used a behind-the-back dribble and an acrobatic finish to score his first bucket of the second half in the fourth quarter and moments later added his fourth three-pointer of the night.
 

Game Changer
The rookie isn’t going to be perfect.

In the first possessions of the game, veteran scoring big man Al Jefferson went to work on Festus Ezeli. With up-fakes and skilled footwork, Jefferson breezed past the first-year center and forced Jackson to go to Biedrins within the first two minutes of the game.

Biedrins proved invaluable. With experience guarding Jefferson and knowing to simply stay down on defense, Biedrins anchored the Warriors’ interior defense and added 12 rebounds in 18 minutes.

“If there is a game ball, it definitely goes to (Biedrins),” Jack said.

Later, Ezeli proved to learn his lesson, aided by the shouting of “stay down!” from the Warriors bench.

Small scuffle
Technicals were handed out in the second quarter when Utah and Golden State players came to a minor scrum on the court.

The play began after Carl Landry fouled Kanter, who didn’t like the foul and gave a slight elbow swing towards Landry followed by an angry stare. Jack responded and quickly went chest-to-chest with Kanter before he was shoved away by Utah’s Favors.

After the push, Jack and Favors held jerseys and shared words while teammates from both sides hurried around them, simply holding one another back. Kanter earned the technical while Favors and Jack were given double-technical fouls.

Where’s your point?
As talented and big as they are inside, the Jazz couldn’t control the Warriors’ point guards.

Without Utah’s starting point guard Mo Williams, who sat due to a sprained right thumb, the Jazz relied on point guards Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson. Curry and Jack outscored Utah’s duo, 38-0.

“Steph got us going early in the first and the rest of us just followed suit,” Jack said.

Battling just enough inside
The Jazz, loaded with talent in a frontcourt that features the tandem of Jefferson and Paul Millsap, as well as the bench strength of Favors, Kanter and Marvin Williams, outrebounded the Warriors 44-43. Golden State kept them at bay just enough, but was outscored 40-32 in the paint.

The Warriors did limit the Jazz to nine offensive rebounds, a figure below their season average of 13.4 per game. David Lee scored 18 points and totaled nine rebounds.

Follow @jimmypspencer on Twitter for Warriors news and analysis

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.