This is William after a Jazz game earlier this year. I met him before Monday's game against Golden State, when he was dry eyed and wearing a Gordon Hayward jersey (though he told me his favorite player is Enes Kanter). I'm not sure if William left the arena after this most recent loss this distraught, but it might be a very long year for young William. It certainly was a rough night for Kanter, who scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds, but looked lost at times and severely outworked by Golden State's Andrew Bogut. Kanter's -33 +/- was the worst for the Jazz.
• Alec Burks started the game at point guard for the third time in a row, but as was the case Saturday night in Oakland, Burks found himself on the bench for much of the second half while somebody else helped lead a Jazz comeback. Burks played six minutes in the second half Saturday and six and half minutes Monday. Coach Ty Corbin said he was simply going with "the flow of the game" as he let Diante Garrett play heavy minutes in the third and fourth quarters Monday. Garrett, after a couple rough outings, showed well this time out.
"I think the last couple games I was thinking a lot," said Garrett, who had eight points and five assists. "I think I got over that. Coach was telling me to play wiht confidnece, play a little loose out there and look to attack. So I took advantage of that."
• In April, Warriors coach Mark Jackson made the claim that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson formed the best shooting backcourt in the history of the NBA.
Jazz forward Richard Jefferson isn't about to argue.
"I agree with him," he said Monday. "I couldn't agree more."
After a slow start Monday night, Curry and Thompson gave Jazz fans a taste of their abilities. The duo combined for 39 points, hitting on 7 of 14 attempts from 3.
"The funny thing about it is they're both very different shooters," Jefferson said. "Steph is more off the dribble, create space. And Klay is really good just straight catch and shoot with no space — and especially catch-and-shoot 3s in transition."
The numbers certainly back that scouting report up.
No player (outside of New Orleans' Ryan Anderson, who has played just one game this year) averages more catch-and-shoot points a game than Thompson's 10.5, according to the NBA's SportsVU player tracking data.
Curry, meanwhile, is averaging a league high 13.4 points a night on pull-up shots, according to the SportsVU numbers.
• Speaking of Curry, his terrific performance Monday night ended abruptly.
After scoring 22 points and notching eight assists and six rebounds, the Golden State guard fell to the floor in a scramble for a loose ball. The weight of a toppling Marvin Williams slammed Curry's face against the court.
Curry lay on the ground for a few minutes, surrounded by his teammates and trainers before getting up, and walking to the locker room with a towel over his face.
Turns out the injury could have been much worse.
"Just trying to make sure he was all right," coach Mark Jackson said of holding Curry out the rest of the game. "Took a hard spill the way Marvin Williams landed on him. Fortunately, he got a little headache right now, but it could be a lot worse. Glad we were comfortably in the lead. You put yourself in position because anything could happen, and when it did we were in control of the game."
• Andrew Bogut didn't have a monster game for the Warriors — scoring eight points and grabbing 13 boards — but the former Ute big man brings something to Golden State that the team didn't have before, Jefferson said.
"He adds a toughness that I think they were lacking," the Jazz forward said. "He's such a competitor. He's a fighter. And they have guys that are competitors. David Lee, Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson], but there's a little bit of toughness and a little bit of edge that Bogut always has, even around his own teammates. He'll argue with his own teammates just to keep that fire within everybody. You need that on a team. A lot of teams have it. I think we're still looking for that fire."
— Aaron Falk
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