Warriors hope to avoid big hole vs. Jazz
The NBA's new comeback kings hope they don't have to resort to the tactic for a third consecutive game when the Golden State Warriors host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif.
The Warriors rallied from 19 down to edge the Miami Heat 120-118 at home on Sunday night. DeMarcus Cousins provided the game-winning points with a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining.
It was the second straight game in which the Warriors won after trailing by at least 17 points. They overcame a 17-point deficit to win at Phoenix on Friday.
The Warriors have won five times this season after falling behind by at least 15 points, including Oct. 19 at Utah, when Golden State rallied from 16 points back to prevail 124-123 on a buzzer-beating tip-in by Jonas Jerebko.
The Warriors have yet to lose (8-0) since Cousins joined Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry in the starting lineup.
Coincidentally, Curry said the adjustment of inserting Cousins into the starting five has helped dig some of the early holes in recent games.
"Still a feeling-out process in terms of lineup and just understanding what we are trying to do every possession," Curry told reporters after Sunday's win. "We will correct it."
Cousins wasn't with the Warriors when they stormed from behind to beat the Jazz in the first week of the season. Golden State trailed 111-101 with 8:53 left in that game before outfinishing the hosts.
Durant had 38 points and Curry 31 in the win, combining to shoot 27-for-49.
There was no such Warriors comeback when they made a return visit to Salt Lake City in December, a game the Jazz won 108-103 despite a total of 62 points on 22-for-44 shooting by Durant and Curry.
Superior depth prevailed in the rematch for Utah, which got double-doubles from Rudy Gobert (17 points, 15 rebounds) and Jae Crowder (18 points, 11 rebounds), double-figure scoring from Joe Ingles (20 points), Donovan Mitchell (17), Derrick Favors (12) and Kyle Korver (12), and 10 assists from Ricky Rubio.
The Jazz were just 15-17 at the time, and were still floundering at 20-21 on Jan. 7 before having won 12 of their last 15 games.
Utah has won two straight, including 125-105 over San Antonio at home on Saturday in night in a bit of a statement game for the club.
The Jazz were engulfed in trade rumors -- especially involving the possible acquisition of Memphis' Mike Conley -- before electing to go forward with their same group.
"We have a great group of guys, and I've never been on a team like this where we have each other's back," Rubio insisted to reporters in the wake of the trade deadline. He had been one of the players rumored to be going to the Grizzlies in a Conley deal.
"We love each other here," he continued. "The team, sometimes, upstairs don't feel like chemistry matters, and sometimes it matters more than anything."
Tuesday's meeting will complete the season series between the Warriors and Jazz, and determine the potential playoff tie-breaker should the teams finish the regular season tied in the standings.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 11, 2019