OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry scored as many points as Utah’s starting five combined. Yet it sure didn’t look pretty early for the star-studded Warriors, who eventually found their groove in another lopsided result.
Curry scored 25 points with four 3-pointers, Kevin Durant had 22 points and the Warriors whipped the Utah Jazz 104-74 on Tuesday night thanks to their defense following a slow start.
Klay Thompson added 17 points and Draymond Green had 15 points, 11 rebounds and five steals as Golden State handed the Jazz their worst defeat of the season.
Joe Johnson scored 14 points for Utah in its seventh straight defeat to the Warriors. The Jazz have also lost seven in a row and 10 of 12 at Oracle Arena.
The teams combined to begin 2 for 25, but the Warriors got going in the second quarter and the rout was on. They shot 61.9 percent in the period to lead 55-33 at halftime, and Utah had the lowest total in any half by a Golden State opponent this season.
“It was cool to go through and cool to see how we guarded through the night,” Durant said.
JaVale McGee contributed eight points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Warriors.
Utah shot 35.5 percent - 9 of 30 from 3-point range - and had a four-game winning streak snapped with just its second loss in the last nine games and third in 14.
“We looked like we were just scared, and we shouldn’t be,” Utah’s Rudy Gobert said.
The Warriors warmed up and the backups got more extended playing time down the stretch. Golden State beat the undermanned Jazz 106-99 on Dec. 8 when Utah was without starters Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood because of injuries.
This time, the teams combined to start 0 for 8, each missing its first four shots and seven of eight. The Warriors were 1 for 12 at one point and the Jazz 1 of 13.
“This is an ugly game, it’s nasty,” Green recalled thinking early on.
Then, Golden State got defensive.
“If we keep a team under 80, I like our chances of winning most every night,” Curry said.
Jazz: Joe Ingles made three of Utah’s nine 3s. … The Jazz haven’t beaten the Warriors since Jan. 30, 2015, at home. … Hood went to the locker room midway through the opening quarter for a bathroom break and didn’t return after halftime because of gastric distress. … The 74 points was Utah’s fewest in a game against Golden State.
Warriors: Golden State has won its last two games by a combined 75 points. It beat Portland 135-90 on Saturday night. … Ian Clark, who spent his first and part of his second NBA season with Utah, had six points after scoring a career-high 23 points against Portland. He landed hard on his back and a chest X-ray was negative. … Golden State shot 26.9 percent the first quarter (7 for 26) in a rare cold start. … Curry made his 1,700th regular-season 3-pointer and ranks 17th on the NBA’s career list for 3s. … Green picked up a technical for hanging on the rim after a coast-to-coast dunk late in the first half, his sixth T. “I can’t run full speed and just come straight back down without breaking my neck,” he said. That was Kerr’s argument, too.
HONORING “BIG NATE”
Golden State paid tribute to late Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond with a bobblehead and special T-shirts on the 50th anniversary of his 24-rebound half and 37 total boards in the San Francisco Warriors’ 130-107 victory against the Lakers on Dec. 20, 1966.
Thurmond died in July at age 74 from leukemia complications.
Patrick Nudanu of Oakland banked in a $5,000 half-court shot during a third-quarter timeout as a delighted Durant watched a wild celebration ensue. Nudanu also won two nights at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
“I’m kind of upset he only gets $5,000 for that shot. That’s a tough shot to make,” KD said.
Jazz: In a back-to-back for both teams, host Sacramento on Wednesday in the Kings’ second visit to Salt Lake City in 12 days after Utah won 104-84 on Dec. 10.
Warriors: Leave on Wednesday morning to play at Brooklyn on Thursday, Detroit on Friday and in Cleveland on Christmas Day in a rematch of the NBA Finals won by the Cavs in Game 7.
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