OAKLAND, Calif. — The shot everybody in Oracle Arena was waiting for finally happened late in the second quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ 115-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Of course it did.
When Steph Curry is on the court, it always does.
Curry, who didn’t score in the first quarter, got the ball with time running out in the first half, wiggled away from Trey Burke and unleashed a jumper from a few feet behind the half-court line.
Very unsurprisingly, the basketball bounced off of the backboard and splashed through the net.
Of course it did.
When Steph Curry is on the court, it always does. Or at least it seems to.
Warriors fans exploded in delirium, once again witnessing a ridiculous shot by the soon-to-be-repeat MVP, Curry sprinted to the locker room and Jazz players dropped their heads.
That Curry 3-pointer gave the Warriors a 52-41 lead and capped a late-half scoring flurry that turned a close game into the blowout most people expected this mismatch to be.
To the Jazz’s credit, they played Golden State tough in the first half.
Utah got on the board first with a Rudy Gobert layup and withstood some small Warrior surges in the first half. The Jazz trailed by only two after the first quarter and then trimmed an eight-point second-quarter deficit down to 43-41 after a Trey Burke 3-pointer and drive.
That last Burke bucket dropped with 1:13 left in the half, by the way.
Seventy-three seconds later, the Warriors enjoyed a 52-41 advantage after two Curry 3-pointers sandwiched a Klay Thompson trey.
Utah managed to get that Warriors' lead to single digits at nine a few times in the third quarter, but Golden State seemed to be toying with a tired Jazz team that suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Atlanta the previous night.
The Warriors all but sealed this victory up late in the third quarter by scoring the final six points to take an 18-point lead into the final stanza.
The last play of the third quarter might’ve been even more ridiculously good than Curry’s half-court bomb before halftime. After a Trey Lyles offensive foul, Warriors power forward Marreese Speights inbounded the ball deep in his team’s own territory.
Instead of giving it to a nearby player, Speights hucked the ball like a quarterback three-quarters of the court to a wide-open Leandro Barbosa, who snuck behind the Jazz defenders and got an easy layup.
Yet again, the Warriors crowd — 19,596 strong for the team’s 162nd straight sellout — went berserk and Jazz players dropped their heads.
That play was one of many in this game in which the Warriors’ excellent passing opened up a scoring opportunity — either layups or open 3-pointers.
That was a point Warriors coach Steve Kerr emphasized before the game.
“It’s tricky. It’s something we talk about quite a bit,” Kerr said of making simple passes. “We have a great home crowd and we have guys that want to put on the show and they should. That’s part of what makes it fun. What I’m trying to convince them of is that the simple leads to the spectacular.”
The Warriors, who improved to an unthinkable 57-6, were simply spectacular after the Jazz hung around for most of two quarters. They had 36 assists on 48 baskets, dropped 13 3-pointers at a 43.3 percent clip and shot 57.1 percent for the game.
And the defending champs put up 115 points despite Curry being held in check — aside from a few threes.
The MVP only scored 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Curry did have a double-double, though, as he dished out 10 assists. One of his dimes was a beautiful long alley-oop pass to former Ute center Andrew Bogut (six points, four boards, three blocks).
Thompson led the Warriors, who won their 46th straight home game, with 23 points, Draymond Green added 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks, and Speights chipped in 16 points.
Burke, who came off the bench first after not playing Tuesday night, led the Jazz with 18 points. Gordon Hayward added 16 points and six rebounds, Derrick Favors had a quiet night with 11 points and four boards and Rudy Gobert grabbed 15 rebounds with nine points.
The Jazz, who fell three games behind Houston in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot, dropped to 29-35. This was Utah's 10th loss in 11 outings against the defending champs.
Utah played without starting shooting guard Rodney Hood (lower back pain), but the Jazz would’ve needed a whole lot more firepower than just Hood to challenge the Warriors on this night. The slumping Jazz, who’ve lost 10 of 13 games, shot just 40.5 percent from the field.