SALT LAKE CITY — There were times on Monday that Golden State seized the momentum. D’Angelo Russell hit three consecutive 3s as part of a blistering start to give the home team an early lead. The Warriors went on a run at the end of the third quarter that cut a 20-point Jazz lead to just 11. And the Jazz even used their regular rotation players until the 1:51 mark as the Warriors made a slight push in the fourth.
But despite those moments, there was never truly was a time it felt like the Warriors were a threat to win the game.
The Utah Jazz got their first shot at the new-look, injury-riddled Golden State Warriors on Monday and it went about as you’d expect.
Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley all scored over 20 points as the Jazz rolled to a 122-108 victory at Chase Center in San Francisco on Monday. Utah improved to 7-3; the Warriors fell to 2-9.
“They are obviously dealing with a lot of injuries,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “To come in and get a win is a really good win.”
The Jazz have now won three straight games. Utah will now have a quick turnaround with a home game against Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The Warriors’ lack of size was apparent early and often. Gobert dominated the paint, scoring 25 points on 11 of 12 shooting. Conley had 22 points and seven assists, finding more chemistry with the rolling Gobert than at any other point thus far. Mitchell scored 23 points and hit five 3-pointers in the game.
The most concerned the Jazz may have been on Monday was when Gobert looked like he tweaked something in his leg or when Bojan Bogdanovic got hit on his way to the hoop, resulting in some shoulder pain. Neither player ended up missing time to deal with the minor stingers.
Utah took a 15-point lead into halftime and Golden State never was able to cut it to single-digits again.
With 8:28 left in the contest, Draymond Green was called for a technical foul for arguing a blocking call. He then followed the official down the court to make his case even more. That walk ended up being his last of the game as he soon picked up (after he practically begged for it) his second technical.
Not even 30 seconds later, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr picked up a technical of his own when he slammed the scorer's table in frustration when Jordan Poole was called for a kicked ball on a steal.
Both Green and Kerr might have had points. Green could have been there in time. And Poole appeared to hit the ball down before it went off his leg. But the sequence showed how things have changed for Golden State. They need a lot of bounces to go their way these days to stay in games.
“The Warriors are who they are right now,” Jazz forward Georges Niang said the day before the game. “I mean, obviously battling some injuries, but that doesn't mean we're going to take them lightly. They beat Portland the other night. So, you know, you can't take any team lightly in this league, people are going to have nights off, where they're struggling and they may have their best night and we're gonna have to be in a dogfight. So you can't take anybody lightly in this league.”
And to their credit, the Jazz didn’t take the struggling Warriors lightly.
After Russell’s sizzling 16-point first quarter, it was smooth sailing for Utah. In part due to Mitchell taking over the game in the second quarter — he was 5 of 6 from 3 at halftime — the Jazz took control, outscoring the Warriors by 11.
After Russell cooled off a bit (he finished with 33 points), Golden State didn’t have enough offense to make up for its struggles on the defensive end.
Utah shot 45.7% from 3-point range with Conley and Mitchell both hitting five each from deep. The Jazz had 30 assists (Conely and Joe Ingles both had seven) on 40 made field goals as Utah moved the ball all around the Warriors for easy looks. And Gobert had six dunks on the night.
“We're getting up and down the floor a little bit easier than our last few games,” Conley said. “And guys got some easier looks which I think made everybody a little more comfortable.”