SAN FRANCISCO (ABC4 Sports) – It is happening so many times lately, it has become a disturbing pattern.
The Utah Jazz play well for three quarter or so, build a big lead, then let it all slip away.
Saturday night against Golden State, the Jazz took a 21-point lead in the second quarter, and led by 16 with just over seven minutes to play, only to watch the Warriors go on an 20-1 run to close the Jazz out, 111-107.
Utah had a 25-point lead against the Clippers on Wednesday and lost. The Jazz have lost 15 games this season in which they had double-digit leads.
“It’s tough, it’s tough,” said an exasperated Rudy Gobert. “I don’t know how many times it’s going to happen.”
“I don’t think we were in a good place the last 6 minutes, and it’s not a good feeling in the locker room,” added head coach Quin Snyder.
Klay Thompson scored 36 points, while Jordan Poole added 31 for the Warriors.
Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley each had 26 for Utah. But Mitchell did not score a point in the fourth quarter, as the Jazz went 6 for 20 in the final period.
Trailing 103-87 with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth, the Warriors rattled off an 18-0 run to take a 105-103 lead with 2:10 left. Thompson hit three 3-pointers during the stretch.
“We played the right way for 42 minutes,” said Gobert. “Teams raise their level, and we’ve got to match that. We’ve got to learn from it. We don’t have many games left. Tonight was a big one, but hopefully we can adjust.”
The Jazz had a chance to take the lead with 20 seconds remaining but Rudy Gobert threw a pass out of bounds after clearing a rebound. The Warriors put the game away at the free-throw line.
The Jazz led by as many as 21 in the first half and took a 58-45 lead into the locker room. Mitchell had 17 but he had plenty of help, as Utah’s bench outscored Golden State’s second unit 17-5 over the first two quarters.
Utah made just one basket in the final 7:54 of the game, and went 5:53 without scoring a single point.
As frustrated as the Jazz are right now, they are trying to remember they still can be a championship contender, as long as they find a way to close teams out.
“We are the team that is building these leads,” Conley said. “We’re that good team that believes we can do that. We just have to continue to work at the small details in the last four or five minutes of games that are causing us to let these slip away.”
Poole scored 19 in the first half for the Warriors, including 14 in the second quarter.
Utah (46-32) is now tied for the fifth seed with Denver with four games remaining. The Jazz next host Memphis Tuesday night.