SALT LAKE CITY — Earning road victories against other top NBA teams is quickly becoming a habit for Golden State.
Stephen Curry scored 28 points and had nine assists on Saturday night to help the Western Conference-leading Warriors to a 123-116 win over the Utah Jazz, who are third in the conference.
The Warriors notched their second major road victory over an elite Western Conference foe in eight days, after beating second-place Phoenix on Christmas Day.
“It’s a good confidence builder to be in these types of settings on the road and get wins like this and show who we are,” Curry said. “Our DNA is built on chasing championships and you got to win games like we have to get it done.”
Andrew Wiggins had 25 points for the Warriors, and Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Andre Iguodala added 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds off the bench – including a late 3-pointer to seal the win.
Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson all scored 20 points, and Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 19 rebounds in Utah’s seventh home loss.
Mitchell shot just 4 of 19 from the field for a season-low 21%. It came a day after scoring a season-high 39 points against Minnesota.
“I liked a lot of the looks,” Mitchell said. “It’s the same shots I hit not even 24 hours ago. … I can’t count many times the ball rolled in and out. Those nights are going to happen. It can’t go in every night.”
Golden State shot 53% from the field before halftime and had a 14-point lead at the half, which Utah erased and then some (16-point deficit) in the third quarter with a 19-5 run. Bogdanovic and O’Neale hit back-to-back 3-pointers to punctuate the run, which put the Jazz up 79-74.
Utah scored 41 points in the third quarter – the most Golden State has given up during a single quarter this season. But the Warriors came back in the fourth quarter, scoring on seven consecutive possessions for a 111-106 lead. Wiggins led the charge with three straight baskets that finally put Golden State back in front.
“They did a great job of moving the ball, of getting up into us defensively and making us uncomfortable and controlled that third quarter,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “But that requires a lot of energy too. That lead we had at halftime forced them to really get after it in that third quarter and they did. But I thought we had more energy in the fourth as a result.”
Utah tied it at 111-111 on a 3-pointer from Bogdanovic. Curry answered with back-to-back baskets and Iguodala added a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 119-112 lead with 40 seconds left.
“I thought we ran out of gas a little bit,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “When they’re scoring, it’s obviously much harder to run. That’s something that we know we need to do throughout the course of a game. I didn’t think we were committed to that on a possession-to-possession basis.”
The Warriors shot 53.5% overall for the game, made 17 3-pointers and improved to 5-16 all-time in New Year’s Day games.
Kevon Looney fouled out with 59.4 seconds left after totaling eight points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Golden State shot 13 of 18 from the field in the fourth quarter – 11 of those came off assists. The Warriors also committed only three turnovers in the final quarter to finish with a plus-12 point differential in the fourth after struggling to keep pace with Utah in the third quarter.
The Warriors missed just two shots over the final 10 minutes. Wiggins, Iguodala, and Porter all joined Curry in making critical baskets down the stretch.
“They’re talented and they’re gamers and they understand they’re going to have to play like that for us to do special things this year,” Curry said. “The opportunity is there. It’s just a matter of going through the reps.”