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Jazz's Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert showcase improved chemistry in win over Warriors



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SALT LAKE CITY — On the second possession of the third quarter, Mike Conley dribbled around a Rudy Gobert screen, drew both defenders to him and then lofted a high lob for Gobert to slam it home.

Conley had entered halftime with zero assists. He finished with seven. Four of those went to Gobert.

There were two alley-oops dunks, one other slam and a layup for Gobert, who finished with 25 points on 11-for-12 shooting in Utah’s 122-108 win over Golden State on Monday.

"Sometimes the way teams play you, it’s more difficult," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of the chemistry between Gobert and Conley.

The Utah Jazz have played a pretty tough schedule to open the season. Seven of their nine games leading into Monday’s had been against teams that are currently in the top 12 in defensive rating. The Warriors? They sit dead last.

Without a lot of resistance, Conley and Gobert were able to get some live reps together. And that might just have helped them discover some chemistry.

"We were working today," Conley said of his partnership with Gobert. "And it was fun to see it start to have some good plays at the end of it, just the spacing and the timing and rhythm and all that starting to come together. It might have taken a little bit longer than I wanted it but the more and more I play, I think the easier it's starting to get."

It was easy on Monday. Especially in the second half.

In the first six minutes of the third quarter, Conley found Gobert for three dunks. Two were off pick and rolls, which the Warriors showed little ability to defend, and the other came when Conley drove into the lane and dished it off to Gobert for a dunk. In the fourth, Conley shoveled another pass off a pick and roll to Gobert for a dunk.

"More than anything, it takes time," Snyder said. "In any facet of life, when you’re new to something, those things (take time) to get to be instinctive. They have, what, played 10 games together."

The tenth showed things are starting to click more and more. And not just for Conley and Gobert, but for the Jazz offense as a whole.

Utah had eight players in double figures with Gobert (25 points), Donovan Mitchell (23) and Conley (22) all going over 20 points and as the Jazz shot 45.7% from deep.

It was only Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been one of Utah’s most consistent offensive players, that really struggled. He was just 4 of 15 from the field for 12 points. But with everything else clicking — and some newfound chemistry between Conley and Gobert — the Jazz didn't need any Bogdanovic heroics on Monday.

"I still think we have a lot of room to improve, but I think tonight was just a small example of what we can do," Conley said. "Guys are looking for each other and making the game easy for each other. Rudy did phenomenal screening, rolling, and getting open looks in the post. Don and Jeff (Green) and everybody else making plays for each other. … Bogey didn't even shoot that well tonight so I mean, had he shot well, we probably would have done a little bit better."

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