More Warriors News

Don't be surprised if you hear about the sun rising in the West this morning.

After all, stranger things happened Friday night. Such as the Warriors beating the Utah Jazz with rebounding, defense and execution. Golden State, as odd as it sounds, was the one to grind out a hard-fought 85-78 victory at Oracle Arena, and not a Jazz squad known for its toughness and crisp execution.

The Warriors (4-1) haven't won a game scoring so few points since beating New York 83-81 five years ago today.

"That's crazy, right?" center Andris Biedrins said with a huge smile after the game. "We won with defense? I'm really liking this."

Point guard Stephen Curry was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games with a sprained right ankle. He finished with 20 points and six assists in 33 minutes while wearing a protective brace.

But it was the Warriors' big men who proved to be the real keys. Biedrins and power forward David Lee combined for 22 points and 35 rebounds. They outplayed their counterparts, as Utah's Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap totaled 28 points and 26 rebounds.

Golden State wound up out-rebounding Utah (52-46) and dominating in second-chance points (26-8) -- the Warriors now have out-rebounded four of five opponents. The Warriors held the Jazz below 40 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers.


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Guard Monta Ellis didn't dominate offensively, finishing with 23 points on 9 for 22 shooting. Instead, he did it with defense, setting a career-high with seven steals and playing a key role in forcing Utah point guard Deron Williams into eight turnovers.

"They came out and played hard, especially on defense," Williams said. "We both shot badly from the field, but what made up for that was the hustle plays, and they out-hustled us tonight."

How can Golden State miss 16 of its first 19 shots and still lead by one entering the second quarter? How can the Warriors shoot 32.7 percent in the first half and commit nine turnovers, and lead 40-39?

The reason just sounds odd.

The Warriors struggled most of the night on offense, finishing at 37.6 percent, including 2 for 14 from 3-point range. But they made up for it with 21 offensive rebounds. And by holding Jefferson, guards C.J. Miles and Raja Bell, and forward Andrei Kirilenko to a combined 13 for 40 shooting.

The Warriors held the Jazz, -- known for its precision and attention to detail -- to 34.1 percent shooting in the second half. Utah hardly looked like the team that had scored 245 points its previous two games.

"Our defense was really engaged to take away paint scores," coach Keith Smart said, later adding, "We knew we would have to defend the paint, and if we did that we knew we would have a chance to win the game. And we did that."

Curry lifted the Warriors' struggling offense down the stretch. He nailed a pull-up jumper at the 2:35 mark to break a 72-all tie. He then came up with a steal and went coast-to-coast, spinning away from Kirilenko for a scoop layup and a foul. His free throw put the Warriors up 77-72 with 2:11 left in the game.

Moments later, it was small forward Dorell Wright hustling and coming up with a loose ball with 1:15 left in the game, which led to an Ellis jumper for a 79-74 advantage with 54.8 seconds left.

Still, after a layup by Jefferson, the Warriors found themselves needing one more basket. And guess how they got it? A putback by Lee.

Watch out for those flying pigs.

sunday's game
Warriors (4-1) at Detroit (1-5), 3 p.m. CSNBA