The Warriors were without David Lee (left shoulder sprain/left hip strain), but Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut more than filled the void. Curry had a season-high 44 points and officially buried all talk of a shooting slump with eight threes, Bogut was above the rim all night, and the Warriors came back from nine points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Jazz 95-90.
This game wasn’t exactly a shining example of the Warriors’ boundless potential with Harrison Barnes (2-for-10, ouch) in the starting lineup instead of Lee. But for those who believe the team’s two best players throughout this season have been Curry and Bogut (I’m raising my hand), this game proved that point really, really well.
Last night, Bogut had 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in 28 minutes. In 36 minutes against the Jazz, Bogut had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. One of the few enjoyable parts of watching games on TV that aren’t as loud as the games at Oracle is the ability to hear Bogut do what he said he takes pride in most, playing the role of “quarterback” on defense.
One play in particular that stood out was when Gordon Hayward saw Bogut and thought he had an advantage. But when Hayward drove left and thought he shook the Warriors center, Bogut quickly closed in. The result was Hayward getting so discombobulated that he lost the ball out of bounds.
Andre Iguodala did a nice job defensively against Hayward, who went 3-for-10 and scored eight points, nine below his season average. The Warriors could’ve used some help on the offensive end from Iguodala, who went 1-for-6. But that was nothing compared to Klay Thompson.
Thompson also came through with a fantastic defensive play on Hayward, coming over to help and knocking the ball off of Hayward’s leg with 24 seconds left. He also went 3-for-20 from the field, the fifth time he’s shot under 30% in his last 10 games.
One player who pitched in on both ends was Draymond Green, who played 29 minutes — his highest total in almost two months, but three fewer than Barnes. Green always defends, and he had a nice putback on a missed “Klayup.” But this game will be remembered as the time he finally got his chance to posterize someone.
“I’m just trying to go in there with power. I missed a couple. I’m going to get one of them,” Green told me about a week ago. That was three days after he tried to convert an impossible dunk against the Pacers, and on Friday night he threw down a vicious slam. (Vine via Warriorsworld)
Curry didn’t dunk, but he had 30 points in the second half. He did it all — threes from five feet behind the line, threes in transition, layups, plenty of swishes, a couple shots that bounced high off the rim and still fell through the net. His movement without the ball was superb, especially when Bogut had the ball — all five of Bogut’s assists were on baskets made by Curry.
— The Warriors only shot 37.5% from the field (thanks to all the non-Curry/Bogut/Green guys), but they won anyway because Curry made threes and the entire team — Mark Jackson voice — TOOK CARE OF THE BASKETBALL. The Warriors only committed eight turnovers, 10 fewer than the Jazz.
— Alec Burks, who was drafted one spot after Thompson in 2011, scored 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
— No 20-footers for Bogut. Kind of disappointing.
— Someone from CSN’s postgame show tweeted at me as the game ended, saying how they were going to use Green’s comments about posterization. But all they did was use the video they shot of Green answering my question. I feel like I should get free cable (or at least free internet) for a couple months in return, or at least an Authentic Fan sign or something. But I’d rather have free cable.
— During the postgame interview, Bogut made me laugh with this comment: “This was a big trap game for us. A lot of momentum from yesterday, big win. Could’ve come in here and laid a you-know-what, but we didn’t.”
I joked that maybe “egg” is a dirty word in Australia, but maybe “laid an egg” isn’t a commonly used phrase among Australians who want to describe a poor performance. Either way, Bogut’s postgame comments are routinely great.