Rewind: Warriors destroy Jazz in business-like fashion

Rewind: Warriors destroy Jazz in business-like fashion
April 7, 2014, 10:30 am
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I have a positive group. I don't want to give too much credit to the 'chatter writers' ... I'd be lying if I said it doesn’t add something to it, I'm sure. If you go at my guys, I will buckle up, too.
Mark Jackson

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OAKLAND – With calamity all about them as the season pushes to a close, the Warriors are huddling up and balling out, exhibiting a profound defiance that would serve them well in the playoffs.

They haven't often delivered successive blowouts, but that's exactly what they did over the weekend, which was wrapped up with a 130-102 wasting of the Jazz on Sunday night at Oracle Arena that completed their first ever season-series sweep of Utah.

[INSTANT REPLAY: Curry, Thompson lead W's to blowout win over Jazz]

As they did against the Kings on Friday, the Warriors (48-29) took ownership early and proved vastly superior throughout. Stephen Curry (31 points, 16 assists) flattened the Jazz, and Klay Thompson (33 points), finished them off.

Unlike so many games earlier this season that ended in maddening losses, there were no unexpected lapses or puzzling stretches – and never the slightest indication of vulnerability.

"We're in a good place right now," forward Andre Iguodala said, "the confidence is there."

"Same mentality, same focus, same businesslike mindset," said Curry, who became the first player in NBA history to surpass the 30-point, 15-assist mark in less than 30 minutes, "another home game to continue to play good basketball and work to finish the season strong."

Understand, one day before taking for floor to face the Jazz, the Warriors were jolted by the news that Darren Erman, the brainy No. 2 assistant to head coach Mark Jackson, had been fired for a serious violation of company policy.

[REWIND: Warriors rocked by another coaching departure]

Understand, too, that Erman's dismissal came a mere 11 days after Brian Scalabrine, the No. 3 assistant, had been banished from the staff by Jackson and reassigned to D-League Santa Cruz.

And throughout the drama, the Warriors faced allegations of being "dysfunctional," with Jackson being cited as the primary culprit.

Such turbulence entering the final, crucial month of the season only seems to have thickened the steel of this team's collective spine. The season-high 130-point total almost felt like a statement.

"I have a positive group," Jackson said. "I don't want to give too much credit to the 'chatter writers.' These guys are consistent with who they are. I'd be lying if I said it doesn’t add something to it, I'm sure. If you go at my guys, I will buckle up, too."

The win lifted the Warriors to a season-high 19 games over .500 and sends them past the 47-win mark achieved last season.

The Warriors took control in the first minute and never lost it, leading by as much as 31 in the second half. It was a dominating performance against a clearly inferior team, and it seemed to come so naturally.

"We handled our business like we were supposed to in the first two," Iguodala said, referring to Kings and Jazz, the first two of four games against sub-.500 teams. "And we feel like we have two more where we have to try to do the same thing."

That would be a reference to the Nuggets, who visit Oracle on Thursday and the Lakers, whom the Warriors will play next Friday at Staples Center.

THE GOOD: Curry was spectacular from the opening tip, scoring 16 points in the first quarter, before Thompson grabbed the baton and put up a 16-point second quarter than pretty much buried the Jazz.

Starting center Andre Bogut returned to the starting lineup, finishing with six points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes.

Backup big man Jermaine O'Neal came up with seven points and 10 boards in 18 minutes.

The Warriors made 17 of 33 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

THE BAD: Not much to see here, unless you are rankled by Curry's five turnovers.

THE TAKE: After misplacing their killer instinct so many times this season, the Warriors suddenly look like a team out for blood. They are, dare we say, motivated by the negative noise. They're playing to suppress those inexplicable losses earlier this season. They are playing for postseason positioning.

And they are playing for Jackson, who has been under siege. Indeed, the Warriors are becoming, more than ever, a reflection of their resolute head coach.