Stephen Curry Returns To Score 20 Points in 85-78 Win Over The Utah Jazz

At 4-1, the Warriors beat a quality Utah Jazz team at home. Too early to be the sleeper team in the West Conference?

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Your Daily Golden State of Mind Link Dump

Golden State of Mind’s IQofaWarrior offers up his comprehensive linkage with videos and critiques of last night’s 85-78 win from the go-to-critiques of bay area sports writing.

The Warriors have their best start at home since 1990 and their best overall start since 1994-1995. But before the Warriors get too excited about their amazing beginnings, here’s what Monta Ellis had to say after last night’s win (Warriors.com via IQofaWarrior)

Monta Ellis On The Upcoming Road Trip:
“This is going to be our biggest test right here when we go on the road. We have five games in seven days so it’s a big test for us. It’s the first time we’re going on a road trip and there are some winnable games. We just have to play like we did tonight. Also continue to play hard as a team with scrappy defense and come out with a successful road trip.”

The Warriors seem to have a road curse haunting them since the preseason. But that doesn’t seem to be keeping Dorell Wright from Tweeting his excitement about his team like a teenager:

DWRIGHTWAY1: Yooo Bay Area #gsw fan!! Nice Win 2nite. We def made it Ugly out there!! We got key stops!! 4-1 ill take it. Big road trip ahead!! Lego

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Stephen Curry's Leads Warriors To 4-1 Start, Warriors Defeat Jazz 85-78

After a relatively dismal game so far, punctuated by 5 turnovers and 2 offensive fouls, Stephen Curry played the role of Monta Ellis, willing the Warriors to a victory in a very close and low-scoring game.

Late in the fourth, Curry managed to secure a steel, take the ball coast-to-coast against three Utah Jazz defenders, and execute perfectly an “and-1.” Streaking and weaving between defenders, he put Al Jefferson and Andrei Kirilenko into the spin cycle, gently kissing his layup off the glass while drawing a foul.

Up until then, Curry struggled with his shot most of the night, getting hot briefly in the second to score 7. But cooled off and sat for an extended period of time into the fourth quarter.

Curry’s shooting woes weren’t just his own.

The Warriors began the game shooting 25% and ended their win at 37%. But offensive rebounding proved to be the difference-maker as it more than made up for the horrendous shooting. Andris Biedrins secured 20 rebounds, 7 of them offensive.

David Lee was equally aggressive on the boards, grabbing 15 total and 7 offensive as well.

But Lee’s struggles on the offensive end were made apparent once again. Against bigger and more athletic front lines, Lee has struggled to get his shot off. Battling against Jefferson most of the night, Lee had his shot blocked on several occasions. He not only air-balled jumpers and missed free throws, but rushed shots again, clanking 3 footers, some rarely hitting the iron at all. His shooting percentage was once again below 40%.

But Lee and Biedrins hustle on the offensive and defensive boards more than made up for these offensive efficiencies. Together with Dan Gadzuric, they slowed down the Jazz frontline, limiting red hot Paul Millsap to 12 points and Al Jefferson to 16. Deron Williams finished the game with 23 points, but 8 turnovers.

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At the Half: Ellis Buzzer Beater Over D.Will Gives Warriors First Lead

With Nellie-ball out, Coach Keith Smart’s new defensive attitude has shown the Warriors winning the hard way: ugly.

With the exception of the last 4 minutes of the half, the Warriors’ display of offensive inefficiency might have been a first. Tons of clanking open and contested jumpers, blocked shots, and poor touch within 5 feet of the hoop plagued the Warriors ability to develop any sense of rhythm.

You can blame this on the Jazz’s stifling defense which Andrei Kirilenko and Al Jefferson clogged the paint enough taking away typically easy layups. The Jazz didn’t shoot any better necessarily as the Warriors found ways to disrupt their shots as well as well as disrupting their offensive by getting in the passing lanes. On top of that, the Warriors second chance opportunities have allowed them to control the tempo in spite of having no tempo of their own, so to speak. The Warriors have 14 offensive rebounds to the Jazz 4 and Andris Biedrins has 11 rebounds already.

Deron Williams, however, has put the team on his back with 12 points.

Dorell Wright also showed some nice offensive moves, not relying on a 3 point shot. When the Jazz have overplayed the 3 point shot, Wright has countered by hestitation moves to the hoop. Curry picked it up in the second half the of the second quarter with 9 points.

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Jazz @ Warriors: Better Pre-Game Vibes But Tons of Bricks During The First Quarter

The Warriors are shooting a dismal 25% from the field after the first quarter, compared to the Jazz who are shooting 47%. So how are the Warriors up by 1? Great defense.

The Warriors have gotten into the passing lanes. But the Jazz also missed some wide open shots too.

Curry started the game but was relatively inactive in the first few minutes.

Tim Kawakami writes before the game about the camaraderie in the locker room:

Tonight, there was Andris Biedrins, David Lee, Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric milling around, getting ready for the game, and also injured guys Ekpe Udoh and Louis Amundson in there, too.

Can’t remember the last time I saw that many post players in the Warriors’ room. Just can’t remember. (Maybe: Fortson, Dampier, Jackson, Eschmeyer? Yikes.)

And the other thing: The conviviality in there was… impressive.

Lee was chatting with everybody. Biedrins and Ellis were chuckling together, then Lee and Ellis talked and smiled. (Hey, just seeing Ellis there a minute before he had to be… that was very different from last year.)

Perhaps this is reason for the better defense?

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Injury Updates For Jazz @ Warriors Game: Utah's Kyrylo Fesenko Is Out With "Gastric Distress"

Kyrylo Fesenko is a big body. He would have been a handful against the Warriors tonight if he could suit up. But Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports that Fesenko is out with "gastric distress." 

I'm not trying to be insensitive about the situation, but what is going on in the NBA and tummy aches? Brandan Wright, still doubtful for the second game in a row, is still recovering from a bout of stomach flu. And now Fesenko is unable to go tonight because...maybe he's been "going" too much if you know what I mean.

Is this an issue only affecting big men? Are there backcourt players also having gastro-intestinal issues? 

I looked up "gastric distress" and there was nothing that seem to fit that profile besides a strange video advertisement for a tummy ache medicine. But from watching this video, it looks like this medicine can get you ready to play basketball instantly.  To be more direct, watch .26 to about .38 and someone get this to Fesenko as soon as possible. 


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