What we learned as Warriors pick up impressive win over Jazz originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The feisty Utah Jazz have been one of the bigger surprises through the early part of the season, and showed why Friday night at Chase Center.
The Warriors came out of the gates hitting on all cylinders, scoring 37 points in the first quarter in what looked to be an easy win. The easy part wasn’t the case. The win was.
Bearing down in the second half with their stars showing up in the clutch, the Warriors willed out a 129-118 win. Hello, .500 club! With their 11-point victory, the Warriors now are 10-10 on the season before hitting the road to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday and Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
All five Warriors scored in double figures. Steph Curry led the way with 33 points, followed by 20 apiece from Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, 13 from Draymond Green and 10 from Kevon Looney.
Jordan Poole scored 11 of his 19 points in the second half, two nights after going 3-for-15 with only eight points.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ ninth home victory this season.
Klay Comes Alive
Preaching patience and trust, Thompson listened to his own lessons in the third quarter. Going into halftime, he had scored only two points while going 1-for-5 from the field and 0-for-3 beyond the arc. Then came the third quarter.
With the Warriors briefly losing what was once a 17-point lead, Thompson caught fire at the perfect time. In the third quarter alone, he scored 12 points — all on 3-pointers. Klay went 4-for-5 from deep, highlighted by two huge possessions near the end of the quarter.
He wasn’t done there, too. Thompson scored another six points in the fourth quarter on two more threes, finishing the night 6-for-12 from deep. One of those misses was a half-court heave at the end of the shot clock.
This season, Thompson hasn’t been able to recover consistently after a slow start. The opposite was true this time.
Steve Kerr has been searching for players who simply do the little things, play the right way and know their role. Look no further than Donte DiVincenzo.
Kerr saw the veteran guard as a perfect fit over the offseason for the Warriors. Now that he’s healthy and rotations are starting to sort out, DiVincenzo is proving his coach to be right. His first made basket, and second shot attempt of the night, didn’t come until there were five-plus minutes to go in the game.
The result was a sweet step-back 3-pointer. How he got there was movement, the Warriors way.
That 3-pointer was DiVincenzo’s only bucket of the night. Along with his three points, DiVincenzo gave the Warriors five assists, three rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench. What has been most obvious lately is how DiVincenzo can play in multiple lineups.
He’s a tough on-ball defender and plays like a free safety off the ball. DiVincenzo has a nose for the ball as a rebounder and always has his eyes up looking for the right pass. He’s Kerr’s kind of player and will contribute to more wins.
Good With The Bad
Before each game, the Warriors have a magic number. That number is 30, and not just because of Curry. In this case, it’s the number of assists by the team.
They came into Friday night leading the NBA with 11 games of 30 or more assists. Make that 12 games with at least 30 assists. In their win over the Jazz, Golden State finished with 33 assists.
However, they also turned the ball over 21 times. Luckily for them, the Jazz weren’t particularly careful with the ball either. They committed 13 turnovers of their own.
RELATED: Kerr says splitting up Steph, Draymond not as “damaging” as in past
The Jazz scored 10 points off the Warriors’ turnovers, and Golden State countered with 20 points from Utah’s turnovers. A little bit of give, a little bit of take.
In reality, that’s how it goes with the Warriors. They lead the league in assists, but are near the top in turnovers per game. For them, it’s about when the turnovers occur and hounding their opponent into turnovers as well.
As they round into form the Warriors’ last four wins have consisted of 32, 38, 36 and now 33 assists. With all their firepower, that’s going to be hard to beat.
Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast