California dreaming: Jazz roll Warriors by 33 points in San Francisco

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SALT LAKE CITY — Over the last week, the Golden State Warriors have taken the Trail Blazers and Nuggets to overtime and beaten the Magic by 14.

It was a good week for a team with the worst record in the NBA — maybe they felt like they had earned a night off.

Or maybe the Jazz really are just that good.

Utah beat the Warriors 129-96 at Chase Center on Wednesday in a game they led by 20 or more points for the entirety of the second half.

The Jazz shot 54% percent from the field and held the Warriors below 40% as they improved to 31-13 on the season. Utah is 16-2 in its last 18 games. The Jazz are now alone in second in the Western Conference.

On Monday, when discussing the Jazz’s winning ways against what has been a run of sub-.500 teams, Utah head coach Quin Snyder said that it’s never easy to win in the NBA. But Wednesday might have been as close as it gets.

The 33-point victory was the largest of the season for the Jazz.

Utah went on a 20-7 run during the final 7:24 of the first quarter and the Warriors never posed a threat after that.

“I thought we did come out focused defensively and did some good things on offense,” Snyder said. “It’s a good way to start a game.”

Golden State didn’t have many answers for what has become the league’s most elite offense over the last month — or at least didn’t have the desire to try and keep up with Utah’s ball movement and Rudy Gobert’s screens or his rolls.

Gobert had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Jazz were 17 of 40 from the 3-point line.

“They were focused on (spacing),” Snyder said. “And everybody's conscious of spacing throughout a possession and re-spacing, which is something that's gotten gradually better.”

The Jazz had 31 or more points in the first three quarters — and by the time the fourth came around, the game was very much over.

Gobert spent the fourth quarter chuckling with teammates and coaches on the bench as he watched the end of the game. After helping the Jazz get by as many as 35 points in the third, he got to enjoy a nice, relaxing final quarter.

But to say the first three were hard might be a stretch, too.

The Warriors had no answer for Gobert. He got rebounds with ease over the smaller Golden State team. He rolled inside for easy dunks. He even hit a left-handed push shot after he rolled across the paint with the ball.

It was that type of night for the Jazz center.

And that’s not to mention the defense, which was once again at his regular Defensive Player of the Year level, keeping the Warriors from even challenging him at the rim.

Gobert, though, was far from the only member of the Jazz who had his way in San Francisco.

Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting to reach the 4,500-point plateau in just his 199th game. He joins Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Mitch Richmond and Michael Jordan as the last six guards to total 4,500-plus points within their first 200 games.

That’s not bad company.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 points and hit 4 of 8 from behind the 3-point line, Joe Ingles had 11 points and eight assists and Jordan Clarkson chipped in 10 off the bench for the Jazz.

“The foot-on-the-throat mentality,” Mitchell said about the team’s performance. “We remember how it was at the beginning of the year. It's continuing to continue to play, to play the full 48. I think for us just continue to step on the throat and continue to continue the pressure.”

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