ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors answered any questions about being rusty after four days off by exploding out of the gate against Utah, controlling the game from tip-off to final buzzer.
The Warriors were defensively ruthless, extending the lead to 22 points at halftime, maintaining a double-digit lead throughout the game, resting most of their starters in the fourth quarter and silencing the Jazz to the tune of a 101-88 victory.
The Warriors sprinted to a 12-0 start, keeping the Jazz scoreless for the first four minutes of the game. After Golden State’s hot start, the Jazz cut the lead to eight in the first quarter, only to see it stretched further.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr admitted he wasn’t completely confident heading into the game:
“I was a little worried about this game, to be honest. Just because, four days between games in the NBA is a long time … It was great to get away from it mentally, but I was worried about it physically.”
Harrison Barnes was the only player that played more than 25 minutes (39:41). Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said getting the other guys some rest in this particular game was just what the team needed:
“Harrison is the only guy that played big minutes. At one point I asked Luke (Walton) if I should take Harrison out and he said, ‘He’s 23 years old, he’s fine’. Some of the other guys aren’t. So, to spread the minutes across the board like that is great especially heading out on the road, and coming off this layoff.
With 19 assists on 23 made field goals and just two turnovers in the first half, Golden State dominated on both ends of the floor for their most complete and competent game of the season.
Utah’s head coach Quin Snyder said his team didn’t respond at all, and instead was knocked out:
“We got punched and we weren’t ready to take that punch…Obviously that first quarter, they shut us down.”
Although the Warriors had minor problems offensively and didn’t shoot the ball as well as they would have liked — 26.1 percent from three-point range and 50 percent overall — the way they responded on the defensive end controlled the game.
Scoring was spread generously through out the roster with six Warriors in double figures. Andre Iguodala, offensively quiet recently, led Golden State with a season-high 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench followed by Marreese Speights, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes with 14 points each.
Kerr said Iguodala has been shooting the ball great in practice and knew it was just a matter of time before the shots started to fall in games:
“Andre was great. We knew it was coming. … Andre has dominated our scrimmages since the first day of training camp. It seems like whatever team we put him on that team wins.”
With a 9-2 record and a four-game winning streak on their back, the Warriors are heading out on their first long road trip — five games in eight nights — starting Sunday with Golden State at Oklahoma City to face the Thunder.
Golden State is off to its first 9-2 start since 1972-73, the year that Rick Barry returned to the Warriors from a four-year ABA hiatus. … The Warriors led the Jazz 28-13 after one quarter, which was their largest lead after one quarter and the fewest points they’ve allowed in the opening frame this season. … Stephen Curry finished with 10 assists and eight points, only the third time he’s ever had at least 10 assists with fewer than 10 points (first time since Dec. 29, 2010). …Harrison Barnes recorded his sixth career double-double with 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in six straight games, the second longest such streak of his career.