SALT LAKE CITY — With the way the Utah Jazz have been playing over the past few weeks, anything but a big margin of victory against the NBA-worst Golden State Warriors Wednesday night on the road would have been a rather significant surprise.
The Warriors kept things close for all of about seven minutes at Chase Center, but the Jazz did indeed blow them out, winning by a final score of 129-96, their largest margin of victory this season by a point. Utah has now won three straight and 17 of its last 19.
The win, combined with losses by both the LA Clippers (to the Atlanta Hawks) and Denver Nuggets (to the Houston Rockets), vaulted the Jazz into sole possession of second place in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Like how Utah on Monday avenged a big November loss to the Indiana Pacers by beating them by 30, the Jazz were a completely different team Wednesday from the one that beat Golden State by just eight at home on Dec. 13.
From just about the very start, the Jazz dominated on both ends of the floor, as they routinely got easy buckets on offense early and forced Golden State into a bunch of mid-range shots on the defensive end. Up 15-12 at the 5:40 mark of the first quarter, Utah went on a 9-0 run to go up 24-12 and didn’t look back against a Warriors team that is now just 1-12 in its last 13 games.
Rudy Gobert was dominant early and had 15 points and 11 rebounds at halftime, while Donovan Mitchell also had 15 points at the break as the Jazz led 65-43. At intermission, Utah was shooting 52% from the field while Golden State had hit just 37% of its shots. The Jazz were also dominating the boards (32-18), assists (15-9) and points in the paint (30-14).
Utah ended up controlling each of those categories on the night.
Mitchell led the Jazz with 23 points in just 22 minutes of play. Gobert scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Four other Utah players finished in double figures.
Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 26 points.
The Jazz will now have a few days off before they play the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday afternoon at Vivint Arena. The contest is set to begin at 3 p.m. as part of the NBA’s efforts to make more games watchable at earlier hours in Europe and Africa.