The Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors, 111-85, on Wednesday night at Vivint Arena. The Warriors came into the game on a league-leading nine-game winning streak, but the Jazz put an end to that and extended their own win streak to four games.

High Notes

  • Before we get into the details, it has to be said that this was the Jazz’s best win of the season, by a mile. I completely understand that this was against a Warriors team that is missing Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, but this was the Jazz’s best performance no matter the opponent. This could have been against the league-worst Detroit Pistons and I’d be saying the same thing. Across the board, the Jazz had incredible performances and played defense at a level (without Rudy Gobert!) that we haven’t seen in months. For them to hold the Warriors to 85 points, including garbage time, was really impressive. This is the kind of game that the Jazz were talking about in January when the players were saying that in the long run it would be about how they respond to adversity. This is the response. After a month of trudging through the schedule the Jazz seem to have come out on the other side with some resolve.

“We’re finding ways to make winning plays. We’re really doing that. We’ve gotta continue to do it, we can’t just say ‘oh, we got it, we figured it out.’ We’re doing it and this is what it’s going to take to win every night.” — Donovan Mitchell

  • Donovan Mitchell was on triple-double watch before the teams went into the locker rooms at halftime. But outside of the feat that he just narrowly missed — he finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists — this was a great all-around game. He missed his first four 3-pointers but recognized that he needed to keep the game moving so he racked up five rebounds and four assists before finally hitting an open trey. He was intentional and focused on both ends of the floor and even added a block to his stat-line for the night.
  • I feel like the competition created by starting Udoka Azubuike ahead of Hassan Whiteside has done wonders for both players. While Mitchell was on his own triple-double watch, Whiteside was also in contention for one, and finished with nine points, 17 rebounds and seven blocks (five of which came in the first half). Before this stretch without Gobert, the prevailing thought was that Whiteside was going to be ok in some backup minutes but if the Jazz were missing either Gobert or Whiteside then they would be forced to go small. But with Azubuike getting some more minutes with high-level NBA talent around him, the Jazz look like they are legitimately three guys deep at the center position and Whiteside has been way more engaged and effective as of late.
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“I like facing adversity. It shows you what people really think about you and you use it for motivation.” — Hassan Whiteside

  • I’m going to end up writing a novel if I go through each player like this, but it really was a well-rounded game from everyone. Jordan Clarkson was restrained and was contesting shots, Bojan Bogdanovic led the Jazz with 23 points and settled himself into the game while also being a factor on the glass, Trent Forrest seemed like a five-year veteran on the court with how he played on both ends, Mike Conley took charges and hit daggers in people’s faces and Royce O’Neale racked up five assists. Even those I haven’t mentioned were instrumental in the Jazz’s effort. There wasn’t a single person who seemed to lack intensity on Wednesday night and every person that played for the Jazz, scored.

Low Notes

  • There are only a couple of things to criticize in the Jazz’s performance against the Warriors and they are small gripes. First, the Jazz need to do a better job of calling out to teammates when there is a defender trailing behind the person with the ball. The Jazz get picked off too often because they don’t yell “wolf” or “trailer” to someone in the open court.
  • Mitchell undoubtedly had an incredible game, but I felt like he could have done more to get inside and attack the Warriors. He didn’t go to the free throw line a single time and that’s usually an indication that a player isn’t being aggressive enough. That being said, he was doing so much to impact the game elsewhere that it doesn’t really matter, especially because the Jazz came away with the win.

Flat Notes

  • Mitchell needed just three assists in the second half to finish off a triple-double and he got just one. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Every player who passed up a shot after getting the ball from Mitchell and every player who missed a shot after getting a pass from Mitchell should feel awful. (This is absolute sarcasm and no one should feel awful. The Jazz have gone 14 years without a regular-season triple-double and they’re doing just fine without it.)
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