The Golden State Warriors beat the Utah Jazz 106-99 on Thursday night, a seven-point margin being what remained from a first-half 25-point lead.
Some nights, especially on a back-to-back set, the Warriors are playing against boredom. That’s no insult to the Jazz, but instead a remark on what they were deprived of in this one. No Gordon Hayward, no George Hill, no Derrick Favors, no Rodney Hood, no Alec Burks, no chance. When you’re that talent-bereft, there isn’t a fiery speech in existence sufficient to conjure a victory against stiff opposition.
Warriors suffer second-half stumble
Despite the win, the Warriors had one of the most inefficient halves of their season. They had 7 assists and 9 turnovers in the second half, the first time this season that they’ve had more turnovers than assists in a half.
Assist chances 15
*All fewest in any half this season
That is, unless the opposition sinks to the challenge. Initially, the Warriors resisted such an inclination and were on their way to ending the game early. They hit Utah with a 29-1 run in the first quarter that reminded one of Wednesday’s roasting of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Golden State wasn’t on fire from long range, but it was playing good-enough defense and moving well enough on offense to more than compensate.
But for the heroics of one Joe Ingles (21 points on 13 shots for Utah), this would have been a great big rout. Though the Warriors pushed the lead to 25, Ingles kept the game within reach. At the half, the Warriors still had a 19-point lead and little to worry about.