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SALT LAKE CITY — Lauri Markkanen stood with a blank stare on his face after the final buzzer sounded; the ending was tough to swallow.
The Utah Jazz had plenty of chances in San Francisco, but in the end, they couldn't take advantage of them.
The Jazz scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter, which ultimately led to a 112-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on Wednesday.
The poor-shooting quarter wasted a superb night from Markkanen, who scored 29 points and 16 rebounds, a solid defensive effort, and spoiled a rare chance to win at Golden State with the Warriors playing without the All-Star trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.
For the second straight game, the Jazz suffered a loss in a contest they probably should have won. But to coach Will Hardy, Wednesday night's at least felt different than Monday's.
"I think it's really important for our guys to understand that the result tonight does not necessarily reflect how they approached the game as a team," he said.
The difference was that the Jazz did a lot good things, such as keep Golden State out of the paint and consistently got good looks. That combo gave Utah a double-digit lead multiple times throughout the game, and there were numerous times it felt the Jazz were on the verge of blowing the game open.
Not much changed in the fourth quarter ... except the Jazz couldn't make a shot.
The Jazz went five minutes without a field goal in the final quarter as the Warriors completed a 23-8 run that started at the end of the third quarter. The run gave Golden State the lead and the eventual win on Wednesday.
Still, the Jazz allowed just 24 points in the fourth quarter. It was not an egregious number, but it was a lot more than Utah could muster. Utah went 4-of-25 from the field and just 1-of-12 from the 3-point line in the final quarter.
It's hard to hold onto any lead with those types of numbers.
"I think if we had said going into the fourth quarter we would have a 6-point lead and only give up 24 points in that fourth quarter, we would feel very good about that," Hardy said. "But there's some nights that the ball just doesn't seem to go in, and I thought that tonight was one of those nights."
Indeed, the one 3-pointer they got to go in was probably the toughest one. Jordan Clarkson, who finished with 22 points, hit a step-back three as he moved to his left. The rest of the attempts were mostly open catch-and-shoot looks that just missed.
"I thought our guys were level headed and tried to execute and we just couldn't get one to go," Hardy said.
Markkanen went 0-for-6 and didn't score a point in the fourth quarter after scorching the Warriors over the first three quarters. Hardy, however, didn't buy the thought the Jazz should have been more intentional in finding shots for Markkanen down the stretch.
He is Utah's best player, but, as the Jazz coach said, he's not an isolation player. His strength comes from playing within the offense — and sometimes that means open looks for other players. He also had double the amount of shots as anyone else in the fourth quarter — Malik Beasley, Mike Conley and Kelly Olylynk were all 0-for-3 — so he wasn't exactly frozen out.
"We play a team style of basketball and we're not going to ever make the game about one player," Hardy said. "I thought we put Laur in a lot of actions. That doesn't always necessarily mean you get the ball."
Even after all those misses, the Jazz still had a chance in the final minute of the game, but the poor shooting followed them to the free-throw line.
In the final minute, Olynyk went 0-for-2 and Clarkson split his trip to the line. If the Jazz had made all four of those shots, they would have taken a late lead. Insead, it was another blown chance.
Jordan Poole had 26 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 19 points to lead the Warriors in scoring. The two hit back-to-back 3-pointers with about five minutes remaining to give Golden State the lead for good.
"We missed a couple of shots, and they made some shots and got the crowd into it; and the momentum kind of shifted," Jarred Vanderbilt said. "I thought we got great looks. Late in the game, we just didn't make shots."