Jazz continue to stumble to the finish

Jazz continue to stumble to the finish

SALT FRANCISCO (ABC4 Sports) – The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Utah Jazz.

Without Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, John Collins and Walker Kessler, the Jazz lost its 12th straight game, falling to the Golden State Warriors, 118-110.

The 12-game slide is the longest since the 1981-82 season when the Jazz dropped 18 in a row.

Klay Thompson scored 32 points to lead the Warriors, while Johnny Juzang poured in a career-high 27 to pace the jazz.

The Warriors clinched at least a spot in the four-team play-in tournament before the game when Houston lost 147-136 in overtime to Dallas.

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From the opening tip, Thompson came out looking for his shot to handle the bulk of the scoring load on a night Stephen Curry was held out for rest and Chris Paul started in his place as the Warriors won for the seventh time in eight games.

“You get down 20, you get down 18, it’s easy to give in and let the game go the other way,” Jazz head coach Will Hardy said. “But I thought we made some runs at critical times to keep this a game. These games right now are very important to us in terms of the the long term vision of our program.”

Kerr utilized his 26th starting lineup combination of the season. The break gave Curry several days between games. He has played in 71 already, his most since 2016-17.

“He needed it, this is the most games he’s played in a long time,” Kerr said about the 36-year-old two-time MVP. “It’ll serve him well for next week.”

Juzang was 7-for-8 from three-point range, while Keyonte George added 25 points for the Jazz, who haven’t won at Golden State since Feb. 9, 2022.

“Obviously, we’ve had some tough deficits, but I feel like everybody’s invested,” Juzang said. “We’re trying to get the group better, more connected and how can we all find a way out there on the floor.”

Thompson shot 12 for 23 with six 3-pointers and had 25 points by halftime for his best scoring half of the season and first with 25 or more points in the initial two quarters since going for 33 against the Suns on March 13, 2023.

Thompson hit seven of his first 10 attempts with four 3s, and Golden State connected on 8 of 12 3s in the first quarter to take a 41-28 lead — the Warriors’ third time scoring 40 or more points in the opening period.

Jonathan Kuminga returned from missing six games with tendonitis in both knees and came off the bench to contribute 21 points and 10 rebounds in his sixth straight 20-point game when playing as a reserve.

Jazz lose to Cavs as losing skid hits 10, 129-113

Brandin Podziemski had his 17th game with at least 10 points, five rebounds, five assists — second among rookies — finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Warriors also were missing forward Andrew Wiggins for a second straight game because of left ankle soreness.

Golden State has won all three meetings with the Jazz this season — four in a row overall — and the teams meet one last time next Sunday at Chase Center to conclude the regular season. The Warriors improved to 18-2 when they have 30 or more assists (32 Sunday) and shoot at least 50% (53.3).

The Jazz will play its final two home games of the season Tuesday against Denver and Thursday against Houston.

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