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“We will find out” |  Utah falls to Golden State in fierce battle

After playing their seventh game on the road in the last eight competitions, the Utah Jazz are finally heading home – and the timing couldn’t have been better.

Despite a double-digit lead midway through the fourth quarter, fatigue and road weariness got the better of the Jazz as they fell 111-107 to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

“Tonight we played really well for 42 minutes,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “When something is difficult, we have to play through. They made a run in the first half, and we absorbed it. The last six minutes, we didn’t absorb it.”

At the start of the season, Snyder insisted that Mike Conley would not play back-to-back games. While the move was met with resistance from the 15-year-old playmaker, Snyder and the coaching staff understood the importance and value Conley would possess come April – so keeping him healthy was a priority.

This decision has begun to bear fruit.

Look incredibly fresh, Conley was dominant when he finished with 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds. He shot 10 for 18 from the field and 5 for 11 from three-point territory while finishing with a season-high +13 rating in 36 minutes.

He’s been a tactician and game director his entire career, but Conley finds a different version of himself in the latter part of his career – and it showed on Saturday night.

He led Utah’s offense to perfection, using the pick-and-roll with Rudy Gobert to decimate the Warriors defensively. His ability to get into the rim and kick the open man or find a rolling Gobert for a dunk is elite – but that’s not all he’s done. He shot the ball exceptionally well and was aggressive, finding his rhythm early and staying on.

Donovan Mitchell was just as dynamic for the Jazz, finishing with 26 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. Although he wasn’t as aggressive in the fourth quarter, he did much of the heavy lifting in the early parts of the game answering the call almost every time the Warriors made a run.

His game continues to evolve as Mitchell proves that when one part of his game isn’t thriving, he knows how to positively affect the team in other ways. When his shot didn’t fall, he never settled for hard looks and instead attacked the rim and made it to the free-throw line – where he finished 6-for-7.

The start couldn’t have gone better for Utah, looking like a team determined to take Golden State’s will early as they took a 7-0 lead. As the Warriors fought back slowly, the Jazz went on an 8-2 run before leading 30-23 after one.

After Klay Thompson hit a three-pointer early in the quarter to make it a five-point game, Conley sparked a 16-0 run with a three-pointer as the Jazz led 49-28. As the Warriors rallied, reducing it to 10 points, Bojan Bogdanovic scored the final three points of the half as Utah led 58-45 at the break.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth until the Warriors caught fire, going 10-3 to make it a seven-point game midway through the quarter. But as they had done all night, the Jazz rallied with Mitchell scoring four quick points for some breathing room. However, Golden State kept all of its momentum going into the fourth as three straight runs cut Utah’s lead to 87-81 going into the final 12 minutes.

As he had done most of the night, Conley helped Utah respond by opening the fourth with a three-pointer, sparking a 12-2 run as the Jazz led 103-87 with 7:54 remaining. . But the Warriors, playing in front of a rowdy, rowdy crowd, rode an 18-0 run to lead by two with 3:33 left.

The Jazz had a chance late, trailing by one with 20 seconds remaining, but couldn’t shoot possession before finally falling at the end.

“We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can use it as fuel, and I think we have guys who want to do that,” Mitchell said. “It hurts. … We’re going to find out. That’s where being the competitor motivates you and fuels you. … We’re going to find out.”

Gobert finished with 14 points, 20 rebounds and two steals, while Bogdanovic added 17 points and three rebounds. Jordan Clarkson finished with 14 points and three rebounds off the bench.

Thompson was down 36 points on 8 of 17 shooting from beyond the arc, while Jordan Poole added 31 points on 6 of 15 from three-point territory.

The Jazz return to Salt Lake City for their final homestand of the season, starting in Memphis on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.



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