After playing their seventh road game in the past eight contests, the Utah Jazz are finally heading home — and it couldn’t come at a better time.

Despite leading by double digits midway through the fourth quarter, fatigue and road weariness got the better of the Jazz as they fell 111-107 to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

“Tonight we played really well for 42 minutes,” head coach Quin Snyder. “When something is hard, we have to play through it. They made a run in the first half, and we absorbed it. The last six minutes, we didn’t absorb it.”

Early in the season, Snyder made it a point that Mike Conley would not play both games of a back-to-back. While that decision was met with resistance from the 15-year point guard, Snyder and the training staff understood the importance and value Conley would possess in April — so keeping him healthy was a priority.

That decision has begun to pay its dividends.

Look incredibly fresh, Conley was dominant when he finished with 26 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. He shot 10-for-18 from the field and 5-for-11 from three-point territory while finishing with a +13 rating in season-high 36 minutes.

He’s been a tactician and game manager his whole career, but Conley is finding a different version of himself in the latter part of his career — and it showed Saturday night.

He ran Utah’s offense to perfection, using the pick-and-roll with Rudy Gobert to decimate the Warriors defensively. His ability to get into the rim and either kick out to the open man or find a rolling Gobert for a dunk is elite — but that’s not all he did. He shot the ball exceptionally well and was aggressive, finding his rhythm early and staying that way.

Donovan Mitchell was equally dynamic for the Jazz, finishing with 26 points, three assists, three rebounds, and two steals. While he wasn’t as aggressive in the fourth quarter, he did a lot of the heavy lifting in the early parts of the game by answering the call almost every time the Warriors made a run.

His game continues to evolve as Mitchell is proving that when a part of his game isn’t flourishing, he knows how to positively affect the team in other ways. At the points when his shot wasn’t falling, he never settled for tough looks and instead attacked the rim and got himself to the free throw line — where he finished 6-for-7.

The start couldn’t have gone much better for Utah, looking like a team set on taking Golden State’s will early as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead. While the Warriors would slowly battle back, the Jazz went on an 8-2 run before leading 30-23 after one.

After Klay Thompson hit a three-pointer early in the quarter to make it a five-point game, Conley ignited a 16-0 run with a three-pointer as the Jazz led 49-28. While the Warriors rallied themselves, cutting it to 10 points, Bojan Bogdanovic scored the final three points of the half as Utah led 58-45 at the break.

The third quarter was back-and-forth until the Warriors caught fire, going on a 10-3 run to make it a seven-point game midway through the quarter. But as they’d done all night, the Jazz rallied with Mitchell scoring a quick four points for some breathing room. However, Golden State held all the momentum entering the fourth as back-to-back three-pointers cut Utah’s advantage to 87-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.

As he’d done most of the night, Conley helped Utah respond by opening the fourth with a three-pointer, igniting a 12-2 run as the Jazz led 103-87 with 7:54 remaining. But the Warriors, playing in front of a loud and raucous crowd, went on an 18-0 run to lead by two with 3:33 to play.

The Jazz had a chance late, trailing by one with 20 seconds remaining, but could not get a shot on the possession before eventually falling in the end.

“We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can use it as fuel, and I think we have guys that want to do that,” Mitchell said. “It hurts. … We’ll figure it out. This is where being the competitor drives you and fuels you. … We’ll figure this out.”

Gobert finished with 14 points, 20 rebounds, and two steals, while Bogdanovic added 17 points and three rebounds. Jordan Clarkson finished with 14 points and three rebounds off the bench.

Thompson dropped 36 points on 8-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc, while Jordan Poole added 31 points 6-for-15 from three-point territory.

The Jazz return to Salt Lake City for their final homestand of the season, beginning with Memphis on Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MST.


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?