Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins lead Warriors to statement win over Jazz
Stephen Curry scored 32 points and Andrew Wiggins had 28 as the Warriors beat the Utah Jazz, 131-119, Sunday afternoon at Chase Center.
Not only did the win snap a four-game losing streak, it also served as a signature win over the team with the best record in the league and proof of concept for coach Steve Kerr’s revamped rotation.
Two straight days of practice before Sunday’s 1 p.m. PT tip allowed the Warriors time to iron out a new rotation that included more minutes for rookie center James Wiseman and a bench unit that featured a backcourt of second-year guard Jordan Poole and rookie Nico Mannion.
“It was great to have two days off,” Kerr said. “That allowed us to have a good practices that I think set the tone for today.”
After getting out to a 33-22 lead in the first quarter, Poole checked in and had 10 points in the second quarter to help maintain Golden State’s lead. By the third quarter, that lead was extended by as many as 15 points.
The Warriors did well to limit Utah’s offense that leads the league in 3-point shooting. On Sunday, the Jazz went 15-for-44 on 3-point attempts. Though All-Stars Donovan Mitchell (24 points), Rudy Gobert (24 points) and Mike Conley (23 points), and presumptive Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson added 21 points off the bench, the rest of the Jazz struggled to make an impact.
“We wanted to be the aggressor the entire night,” Kerr said. “That’s how you win games and that’s how you have to dig out of a four-game losing streak - with your defense - and, when you do that, the ball tends to go in.”
Meanwhile, Wiggins may have had his best game in a Warriors uniform. He scored a season-high by using a variety of finishes, making 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and defended Mitchell well. In addition to scoring 32 points on 10-for-20 shooting (including 6-for-9 from 3-point range), Curry had nine assists and five rebounds.
Poole finished with 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including a key 3-pointer late in the game to give Golden State a cushion after the Jazz cut the lead to one. Wiseman had 16 points on 8-for-11 shooting and four rebounds in 23 minutes.
This was a significant win for the Warriors, who not only get back to over .500 at 20-19, but also earned some much-needed confidence for a crucial stretch and playoff push that continues Monday night against the Lakers.
However, Draymond Green said it means, “Nothing if we don’t build on it.”
“Great win but now it matters what we do coming out of this win,” he said. “It could be a turning point.”