Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry bomb sparks win over Utah Jazz

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange  |  March 10, 2016 at 8:09 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bo Jackson was known for his versatility in a brilliant sports career.

Even so, rarely, if ever, was his name used in a basketball context.

Until the amazing Stephen Curry made it happen Monday night.

Curry capped a second-quarter-ending flurry with a Bo-type sprint up the tunnel to the locker room, having just banked in a 55-foot shot that provided the killing blow in the Golden State Warriors' 115-94 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Even on a night when he had his second-lowest-scoring game of the season, Curry (three) combined with backcourt mate Klay Thompson (five) for eight 3-pointers, giving them an even 500 for the season, as the Warriors (57-6) won their 28th in a row at home this season and 46th straight at Oracle Arena in the regular season dating back to last January.

The overall home winning streak is an ongoing NBA record.

"That's the best game we've played in a while," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "Just being solid. ... We have so much depth and so much talent ... solid is enough."

Curry finished with just 12 points, but Thompson poured in a game-high 23, Draymond Green had 17 and center Marreese Speights came off the bench to provide a season-best 16, helping Golden State clinch a season-series win over the Jazz with a third consecutive head-to-head win.

"Obviously, they're All-Stars and MVPs and all that," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "Guys like Mo (Speights) made some great plays. Made shots. (Leandro) Barbosa. (Shaun) Livingston. You go on and on. That's what makes them so good."

Despite playing for a second consecutive night, Utah (29-35) hung tight for the first 23 minutes before Golden State's last-minute flurry in the first half created the game's first double-digit margin.

Curry, who entered the game having made at least one 3-pointer in a record 132 straight games, missed his first four attempts from beyond the arc until finally connecting nearly 21 minutes into the game.

Meanwhile, the Warriors struggled to retain a 43-41 lead into the final minute of the first half before Curry connected from 26 feet and Thompson from 29 feet in a six-point flurry that quickly ballooned the lead to eight.

After Joe Ingles missed a 3-point attempt at the Utah end with 6.2 seconds left in the half, Curry grabbed the rebound, headed toward midcourt and let fly with from just beyond the line. The shot banked in, sending the home crowd into a frenzy and capping a 9-0 run that produced a 52-41 advantage.

"He knows he has a chance to make it," Kerr said, "and he lets it fly."

Curry's mad dash around the Warriors' bench and up the runway leading to the Golden State locker room was equally impressive.

"It was a great exit," Kerr said. "Like when Bo Jackson ran out of the (football) stadium (in Seattle). I'm glad he came back for the second half.

"When he shoots those, you know it has a chance. It's incredible. I've never seen anybody that accurate from midcourt."

Curry is now 4-for-11 on shots from 40 feet or more this season.

"That's not a surprise anymore," Green said. "To say that I know it's going in is crazy, but you kind of get a feeling of, 'All right, that one's good.'"

The Warriors went on to earn a 10th win in their past 11 meetings with the Jazz, but it was a struggle for the better part of three quarters. In fact, the frustration of their early difficulties boiled over into technical fouls on Andrew Bogut, Curry and Andre Iguodala.

Golden State finally put the Jazz at arm's length with another quarter-ending run, this one in the third period.

Utah was within 68-59 before Barbosa had seven points and Speights five in a 13-4 spurt to close the third quarter and create an 18-point cushion entering the final period.

The quarter ended when, as the Jazz pressed up the court to keep Curry from attempting another long-range shot, Barbosa snuck behind the defense, hauled in a 60-foot pass from Speights and stunned Utah with a buzzer-beating layup.

"It was a touchdown pass," Speights said. "I'm glad he caught it."

Curry's 12-point total was his lowest since a five-point struggle in just 14 minutes on Jan. 2 against Denver. He did, however, find time to complete his 12th double-double with 10 assists.

Meanwhile, Green complemented his 17 points with seven rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

Backup guard Trey Burke hit all eight of his free throws to highlight an 18-point night for the Jazz, who have lost seven of eight after a 28-28 start.

Utah fell three games behind the Houston Rockets (32-32) in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"To win here would have been quite a feat," Snyder said. "We're going to have some more opportunities in the 18 games left. Hopefully we get a chance to get some wins and just keep grinding and see where we end up."

Gordon Hayward added 16 points but missed 10 of his 15 shots as the Jazz shot just 40.5 percent from the field. The Warriors, on the other hand, connected at a 57.1 percent clip.

Derrick Favors (11) and Trey Lyles (11) also scored in double figures for the Jazz, who were coming off a 91-84 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. Center Rudy Gobert led all rebounders with 15 to go with nine points.

NOTES: The Warriors surpassed 800 3-pointers in a season (they are up to 804) for the second year in a row. ... Golden State PG Stephen Curry and SG Klay Thompson set the record for most 3-pointers by teammates in a single season with 525 last year. ... The Warriors welcomed back reserve SF Andre Iguodala (tightness in left hamstring), who missed three of the team's previous four games. He scored four points in 22 minutes. ... The Jazz played without SG Rodney Hood (sore back), who ranks second on the team in starts with 61. The Rising Star Challenge participant on All-Star Weekend said he was bothered by a bad back since the break, and he shot just 26-for-78 (33.3 percent) in his past seven games. ... The Jazz fell to 3-1 on the second night of home/road back-to-backs. They had beaten Denver, the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix under those circumstances earlier in the season.

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