Photos by Guri Dhaliwal (Martinez News-Gazette)
Utah (31-13) is the hottest team in the NBA, having won 18 of its last 20 games.
Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors trailed by double digits after the opening nine minutes:
Destroyed on the glass
Because the Jazz, with 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert, are among the bigger teams in the NBA, the Warriors know the formula on the glass is to be hyper-aggressive. That’s how they outrebounded Utah in two of three previous meetings.
That aggression rarely surfaced Wednesday, and the Warriors paid for their negligence. They were clobbered, 56-37, in that area.
Far too often, they were caught flat-footed. One glaring example came in the second quarter, when Jordan Clarkson missed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and the long rebound bounced back to him as Russell offered a half-hearted stride and flail.
Marquese Chriss grabbed a team-high eight boards, and Alec Burks snagged six. No starter had more than four.
Simply put, the Warriors were outworked. This was the sixth time in the last eight games that Golden State was beaten on the glass — and the worst differential this season.
Draymond vs. whistles
Though he has come perilously close in the past, Draymond Green has never crossed the threshold for being assessed technical fouls without suspension.
That could change this season. He was T’d up for the NBA-high 12th time this season Wednesday night and is five away from 17, which would result in an automatic one-game suspension. The fine, which rises to $4,000 once a player reaches 11, rises to $5,000 once a player reaches 16.
Green is averaging one technical foul every 2.75 games he plays — by far the highest per-game average in the league this season and also the highest of his career.
Truth told, if ever there is to be a season when Green might take a suspension, it is this one. There are no stakes, and he is at his most effective when the games really matter.
D-Lee and his missing 3
The 3-point shot, which was Damion Lee’s ticket out of the G League and into the NBA, is in snooze mode.
Lee was 0-of-1 from beyond the arc Wednesday, and in four games since his two-way contract was converted to a standard NBA contract, he is 3-of-15 from distance.
The numbers are particularly surprising insofar as Lee had been shooting so well since entering the starting lineup on Dec. 15 and becoming a fixture. In 10 games last month, he shot 42.5 percent from deep.
Lee likely will remain the starting shooting guard, at least for now. Rookie Jordan Poole isn’t ready for that burden and any chance of going back to the Stephen Curry-D’Angelo Russell backcourt that opened the season is more than a month away.