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.