Tonight’s game could be summed up by three possessions early in the fourth quarter:
As David Lee shot free throws, Vladimir Radmanovic (6’10) managed to secure the rebound against a small Earl Watson (6’1). Only problem was that once Radmanovic turned his back, Watson engaged with Radmanovic, stripped the ball away and stormed in the other direction, assisting CJ Miles with a circus shot on other end.
A few plays later, Reggie Williams on nearly a breakaway layup — Monta Ellis trailing — had the ball stripped by CJ Miles. No foul was called and the ball just trickled out of bounds. The Warriors did not score that possession.
A few possession later, Radmanovic drove into the lane and then telegraphed a pass to Acie Law, which the rangy Andrei Kirilenko standing between them easily picked off.
All this was without the bulk of the Jazz starters in.
The Jazz hustle was off the charts and from tip-off, they consistently found ways to disrupt the Warriors rhythm, by stripping them cleanly, poking the ball out, and easily blocking them at the rim. Generating 12 helped them create 24 fast break points. The Warriors only had 11 fast break points. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 6 blocks.
CJ Miles provided a spark off the bench, igniting the the Jazz in the 2nd and 4th quarter and finishing with 20 points in 27 minutes. Deron Williams thoroughly dominated the Warriors on both ends of the floor finishing with 30 points and 10 assists.
Dorell Wright led the Warriors with 20 points and Monta Ellis had 16 points. He also had 7 turnovers.
The free throw differential also hurt the Warriors, making only 20-31 compared to the Jazz who only missed 5 of their 29 free throw attempts.
Notes: Late in the 4th quarter, Ellis was fouled hard by Williams on a layup, sending Ellis sprawling. With the game seemingly over at that point with the Jazz momentum turning into a 15 point lead, Ellis gave Williams a few words and they continued to exchange jabs at each other. In what looks to be a rivalry between the two teams, Ellis the missed the ensuring two foul shots.