SALT LAKE CITY -- The plan was to play inside-out.
The Warriors got the ball inside, regularly, using power forward David Lee and center Andris Biedrins to post-up. They got the looks they wanted in one-on-one coverage, which sucked in the defense, which took some of the pressure off the perimeter players.
The plan almost worked to perfection Monday. If only their bigs had made a few more baskets, the Warriors might not have lost their seventh straight, 108-95 to the Utah Jazz. Lee and Biedrins entered Monday averaging about 19 attempts per game. Against the Jazz, they totaled 25, most of them out of the post. They made seven.
It was part of the reason the Warriors shot just 39.5 percent.
"I'm just not happy we didn't finish them," said Biedrins, who finished with eight points on 4 of 10 shooting and 12 rebounds. "We just have to finish on those shots. We missed so many open layups. We have to (make them), otherwise they won't come to us anymore."
Since their 6-2 start, Golden State has gone 2-14. Monday's loss completed the toughest portion of the Warriors' schedule: seven straight playoff contenders.
According to the Sagarin ratings, the Warriors have played the toughest schedule in the NBA to date. But starting tonight against Minnesota, Golden State's next six opponents have losing records through Monday. Four of those games are at Oracle Arena.
With point guard Stephen Curry -- who missed his second consecutive
The Warriors out-rebounded Utah (46-40) and attempted two more free throws than the Jazz (though Golden State missed 11 of 31 foul shots). Both perhaps can be attributed to the focus on going inside. Biedrins said the bigs are more active when they get opportunities and the perimeter players said they got a lot more looks. Lee finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. He got 12 points at the foul line as he went 3-for-15 shooting.
"In this building here, you have to make the defense come and collapse a little bit," coach Keith Smart said. "You can't settle too much for playing outside, jump shots and pick-and-rolls, because that will feed their break. I thought that's why we were in the game for three quarters. We were right there in the game because we played that style, trying to put it inside."
Golden State closed the first half with a 7-0 run to take a 46-43 lead into the locker room.
The Warriors trailed 74-70 after three quarters, still in striking distance in a place they usually get blown out. But Deron Williams got going with 11 points and five assists in the third quarter. It paved the way for the Jazz to open up the game in the fourth quarter.
"The game is different, probably on our side, if we can get a few more (made baskets inside)," Smart said. "Even drives to the basket, we missed a few layups down there, too. We've got to finish the plays in the paint. When you get a chance, you've got to come up with either a bucket or the free throw."
Notes: Reggie Williams started in place of Curry again and had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and six assists. ... The Warriors are offering 50 percent off on all remaining tickets for tonight's game. For more information, go to www.warriors.com.
Minnesota at Warriors, 7:30 p.m., CSNBA