The Warriors already knew they could find ways to win when their sharpshooting backcourt had one of those rare off nights. On Monday, they discovered that they could find a way to blow out an opponent even with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson a bit cold from the floor. The Warriors' defense has become that good. With Curry and Thompson combining to make just 13 of 32 shots from the field, the Warriors clamped down on the other end of the court and turned defense into easy offense in a 98-87 victory over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. "I like what we're doing. We're building and we're starting to get our identity, especially defensively," said center Andrew Bogut, who had four blocked shots, 10 defensive rebounds and a steal. "We're only as good (overall) as we are defensively. Whenever we guard on a consistent basis, we're tough to stop." The Warriors (8-3) limited Utah to 39.5 percent shooting from the floor - the sixth time they've held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting this season. They allowed the Jazz (1-11) to score consecutive baskets only once in the first half and held them to 22 or fewer points in three quarters. The Warriors' defense improved last season, but this is another level with the addition of passing-lane genius Andre Iguodala and a healthy Bogut. With Bogut protecting the rim, the Warriors' perimeter defenders can pressure the ball more forcefully, and if a mistake is made, the big man is often there to clean up the mess - like in the first half when he made it look as if Utah's rim had a lid on it. Curry finished with 22 points on 7-for-15 shooting, eight assists and six rebounds, but he had to leave the game with 8:50 left after Marvin Williams landed on him and inadvertently slammed his head into the floor. The Warriors' initial diagnosis was that Curry escaped with nothing but a headache. "I hadn't had any kind of concussion episodes before, so when it first hit, it rung my bell pretty hard," Curry said. "... I haven't seen it on tape, but the way it felt, it was definitely pretty serious. ... "When you go from feeling really good and running around the court to getting your head smacked into the ground, it shocks you a little bit." It took 17 shots for Thompson to score 17 points. David Lee had 14 points and 14 rebounds and Iguodala added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Utah was led by Gordon Hayward's 18 points. The Warriors hadn't won eight of their first 11 games since they did it in consecutive seasons in 1990-91 and 1991-92. That was also the last time the Warriors made back-to-back playoff appearances.
Defense carries Warriors past Jazz
San Francisco Chronicle | Nov 19