Thursday, 31 March 2016
Warriors Complete Comeback Over Jazz
The Warriors set a new franchise record with their 68th win of the season after defeating the Jazz 103-96 in overtime on Wednesday night. Stephen Curry scored a game-high 31 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Draymond Green stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Harrison Barnes recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 boards. With the win, Golden State improves to 68-7, setting a new franchise record for most wins in a single season.
On a night in which Utah shot below 45 percent from the free throw line, Golden State needed every last point they could get on Wednesday night, tying things up just before the end of regulation and then running away with the game in the extra period. The Warriors struggled from the field in the game, but actually got off to a strong shooting start in the opening quarter. After a Gordon Hayward jumper gave Utah an early 12-9 advantage with 7:35 left in the first frame, Golden State responded with a 10-0 run to retake the lead. The Jazz would cut the deficit to three points within the final 30 seconds, but Stephen Curry’s jumper with 0.6 seconds remaining on the clock sent the game into the second quarter with Golden State holding a 26-21 lead.
The pace would slow down at the start of the second frame, with both sides held scoreless until Leandro Barbosa scored five-straight points in 12 seconds to put the Warriors up 31-21 with 9:17 remaining in the half. Utah would use the rest of the quarter to trim down the deficit and used a 7-0 run to briefly retake a 40-39 lead with less than a minute left. However, Harrison Barnes hit his lone three-pointer of the night on the ensuing possession, putting Golden State back in front 42-40 heading into halftime.
It would be a short-lived lead, however, as Utah opened the second half on a 9-0 run to put the Warriors back in a hole. Five-straight points from Shelvin Mack in a span of 18 seconds put the Jazz up 57-47 with 5:22 left in the third quarter, equaling their largest lead of the night. It would evaporate in a hurry though, as Golden State would outscore Utah 9-2 over the next 90 seconds to pull within a single point. Curry’s jumper with 5.9 seconds left pulled the Warriors within 67-63, but Trey Lyles drove down the center of the paint and drained a floater with 1.2 seconds remaining to send the game into the fourth and final quarter with Utah holding a 69-63 advantage.
The two sides would go back and forth in the first six minutes of the fourth, but Golden State never let Utah get out of reach. Rudy Gobert’s tip-in put the Jazz up 82-74 with 6:18 left to play, but their lead would only shrink from there. An immediate 6-0 Warriors’ run in response pulled the Dubs within two, and then after three-straight Utah points, Draymond Green’s layup capped a 5-0 Golden State burst to pull the Warriors even at 85-85 with 2:18 remaining on the clock. After both sides missed shots, Gordon Hayward’s three-pointer put the Jazz back in front 88-85 with 1:26 left to play. Keeping with the theme of the evening, Shelvin Mack followed Curry’s split free throws with a split of his own, giving Utah an 89-86 lead with 24.3 seconds remaining in regulation. After the Warriors called timeout, Klay Thompson missed his first three-point attempt, but Shaun Livingston corralled the offensive rebound and found Thompson again, whose second try found the bottom of the net and tied things up at 89-89 with 15.0 seconds left. Draymond Green blocked Shelvin Mack’s attempt on the ensuing possession, sending the game into overtime.
Once the Warriors got the game to the extra period, they ran away with it. Hayward would put Utah out in front 91-89 with a jumper 30 seconds into overtime, but Golden State would go on to score 12 of the next 14 points in the game to go up 101-93 with 1:04 remaining on the clock. Rodney Hood’s three-pointer pulled the Jazz within 101-96 with 44 seconds left, but the damage had been done. Draymond Green closed out the scoring with two free throws, securing the comeback victory. With the win, Golden State improves to 68-7 on the season, setting a franchise record for the most wins in a single season. They’ll attempt to extend that record on Friday when they host the visiting Boston Celtics at Oracle Arena.