SALT LAKE CITY – Several opponents have said the Utah Jazz can’t defend when big man Rudy Gobert isn’t cleaning up their mistakes.
Against one of the hottest offenses in the NBA, Hassan Whiteside and the Jazz were determined to prove the doubters wrong.
“It’s been tough for me, but my whole life I actually like adversity because it shows you what a lot of people really think about you,” said Whiteside, who has been playing behind Udoka Azubuike in Gobert’s absence.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Utah shut down Golden State in a 111-85 victory Wednesday night that snapped the Warriors’ nine-game winning streak.
“They know the things that people say. That’s sometimes a challenge for us, and they take it personally,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
Whiteside had nine points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks as the Jazz nearly held the Warriors to their lowest shooting percentage this season until a garbage-time hot streak helped them finish at 36%.
“I thought Whiteside dominated the game. I didn’t think we attacked in a very intelligent manner in the first half. We kept trying to score over the top of him and you’re not going to do that. He had six blocks in the first half and then every one seemed to turn into a layup on the other end,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.
Utah allowed just eight baskets and 28 points over the final 21 minutes, and four of those came in the last 3:26 of the game.
Mitchell fell just short of Utah’s first triple-double since Carlos Boozer did it 14 years ago.
“We really did a lot of special things out there. And I think we just continued to play as a group and continued to lock in with communication,” Mitchell said. “We found ways to make winning plays.”
The Jazz are still without Gobert, who has missed eight games with a calf strain. But they dominated the paint on both ends of the court.
“We did a really good job containing the ball. A lot of that had to do with guys off the ball just really shifting into a good position to help and that helped us defend cutters. And then that helped us on the glass,” Snyder said.
Jordan Poole led Golden State with 18 points and Stephen Curry had 16 in the Warriors’ most lopsided loss this season.
“They were pretty aggressive all night trying to run us off the 3-point line,” Curry said. “That was a snowball of missing shots and then giving up 3s on the other end. Especially on the road, you’re not going to win many games like that and you’re going to get blown out.”
Golden State was also short-handed. Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and James Wiseman were sidelined with injuries.
The Warriors had only two baskets and eight points over the final nine minutes of the third quarter.
Then, the Jazz started the fourth with a 13-2 burst. Following a pattern in the game, Whiteside grabbed an offensive rebound to cap the run and make it 92-67 with 8:47 to play.
Utah led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter as the Warriors went with their bench for most of the period.
The Jazz have won four consecutive games after their worst span this season and they’ve done so with a recommitment on the defensive end, even without their three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
“I don’t want to get too high. Because, you know, a week or two ago, the sky might have been falling for some people,” Snyder said.
The game began with a totally different complexion than the end. The Warriors scored the first 13 points and led 15-2 before the Jazz answered with a 19-5 run.
“Not many teams can come back on the Warriors when they get to 15-2. Curry’s out there hitting shots ... but the fact that we came back and won by 25 or 30, or whatever it was, it shows a lot of grit. And I think that’s like one of the better wins if not the best one this season,” Whiteside said.
ALL-FEMALE BROADCAST CREW
The game was televised by ESPN with Beth Mowins calling play-by-play, Doris Burke as an analyst and Lisa Salters on the sidelines. Besides making history with those three in front of the camera, the network announced that 33 other women handled production roles in Salt Lake City and at company headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
“I’m definitely honored to be a part of that game to be part of their story. It’s long overdue,” Mitchell said.
INGLES DEALT FOR ALEXANDER-WALKER
Joe Ingles, the longest-tenured Jazz player, was traded from his only NBA team on Wednesday. Ingles, who has an expiring contract, tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 30 and is preparing for surgery.
“Today hurts. … I knew it was a possibility but didn’t want to believe it, we have been lucky to call this place home for 8 years!,” Ingles tweeted.
The Jazz acquired guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Portland and forward Juancho Hernangomez from San Antonio in a three-team trade. Utah sent Ingles, Elijah Hughes and a future second-round draft pick to the Trail Blazers. The Spurs received guard Tomas Satoransky from Portland and a future second-round draft pick from the Jazz.
Warriors: Curry has made at least one 3-pointer in 175 consecutive games, the longest streak in NBA history. … Poole has made 58 of 59 free throws over the last 17 games. … Poole had scored 20 or more points in each of his last six starts.
Jazz: Whiteside had six first-half blocks. … The Jazz outscored the Warriors 48-20 in the paint. … Utah outrebounded Golden State 52-35.
Warriors: Host the New York Knicks on Thursday.
Jazz: Continue their six-game homestand Friday against Orlando.
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