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3 keys to Utah’s 129-118 loss to the defending NBA champion Warriors

Jazz suffer their third-straight defeat, matching their season-high for consecutive losses

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Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) drives past Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) drives past Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

John Hefti, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz have matched their longest losing streak of the season, falling 129-118 Friday night to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors for their third-straight setback.

After looking like they were going to get blown out of Chase Center early, the Jazz (12-9) scrapped back and pushed the up-and-down Warriors despite a rough first quarter. 

Golden State pulled away a bit in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of some poor transition defense by the Jazz, and weathered a mild Jazz rally.

Golden State won its second consecutive game and evened its season mark at 10-10.

Here are 3 keys to Golden State’s win over the visiting Jazz:

• In a game that was looking impossible to win early in the second half, the Jazz found some steam, got a bunch of 3-pointers from Kelly Olynyk, and actually took a 71-70 lead five minutes into the third quarter. But that’s as good as it got for the visitors.

Still, Utah showed some grit and toughness in a hostile venue.

Klay Thompson caught fire late in the third quarter to lift the Warriors back to a double-digit advantage. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 33 and continues to play well. Jordan Poole had 19 points, while Thompson and Andrew Wiggins added 20 apiece.

In the end, the Jazz played poorly in transition, leading to lots of easy dunks and open 3-point shots for the home team. The Warriors were 20 of 45 (44.4%) from deep.

Golden State took that 97-86 lead after three and kept the Jazz at bay the rest of the way to take the first of three scheduled matchups this season in front of a crowd of 18,064 — Golden State’s 440th straight sellout.

The Jazz will host the Warriors on Dec. 7 in Salt Lake City.

• Credit the Jazz for hanging tough when Curry was cooking in the first quarter and nothing would fall on the Utah end. The Jazz had some decent moments in the second quarter, particularly back-to-back triples by Lauri Markkanen, and got within four a couple times before the Warriors turned up the defensive pressure. Markannen led Utah with 24 points, while Olynyk and Jordan Clarkson had 21 apiece.

• Aside from a 7-0 mini-run after the Warriors had jumped out to a 7-0 lead, the Jazz were never really in this one in the first quarter. Curry’s four-point play spurred a 22-7 run and the Jazz were done — almost. The superstar had a couple other highlight-reel type plays in the outburst, bringing the post-Thanksgiving crowd to its feet.

Meanwhile, the Jazz chose to live early by the 3-point shot, but nearly died by it instead. Utah missed 13 of its first 14 3-pointers — that’s 7.1% — and was behind 37-23 at the end of the first quarter. Game over? Not really. The Jazz never went away until the fourth quarter, another positive sign for coach Will Hardy’s growing team.