SALT LAKE CITY – No amount what duke the Warriors are dealt, they still accept two trump cards that usually win.
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. As the Warriors apparent in their 124-123 achievement over the Utah Jazz on Friday, however, they additionally accept a wildcard. His name is Jonas Jerebko. They acquired him aftermost summer afterwards Utah (1-1) waived him for cost-cutting reasons. And in alone his additional regular-season d with the Warriors (2-0), Jerebko fabricated a putback off of Durant’s absent jumper with .3 abnormal larboard to allowance the achievement adjoin his above team.
“That’s the moment he’s one of us,” Warriors drillmaster Steve Kerr said. “Anytime you’re a new guy with a new team, you’re aggravating to accomplish your mark. You do it in convenance by activity adamantine and do it with your assignment ethic. But as anon as you hit a d winner, that appealing abundant solidifies it.”
So afterwards authoritative that game-winning attempt that anchored his cachet on the Warriors, Jerebko pumped his appropriate fist. He stood briefly in advanced of the Jazz’s bench. Then Jerebko’s teammates swarmed him. Warriors bouncer Klay Thompson bumped him. Jerebko’s added teammates hugged him. Warriors advanced Jordan Bell jumped on Jerebko’s back. Warriors advanced Andre Iguodala, who sat because of binding in his larboard calf, took off his shirt to celebrate.
“Andre can do that. I don’t anticipate I can do that,” Kerr said, smiling. “I couldn’t cull that off.”
To think, Jerebko entered Tuesday’s d disturbing to fit in the circling through training affected and the division opener. With Iguodala’s absence, though, Jerebko becoming added arena time. Not alone did Jerebko column 10 credibility on 4-of-5 cutting and six rebounds in 24 minutes. Jerebko additionally upstaged Durant (38 credibility on 14-of-25 shooting) and Curry (31 credibility on 13-of-24) with a game-winning putback. Fitting for a amateur that told his new teammates beforehand, “Let’s get the win!”
“We got some abundant guys on the team. They’ve been acknowledging me,” Jerebko said. “They knew this was a big d for me advancing aback here. I capital the win.”
Jerebko started that mission by inbounding the brawl as the Warriors trailed, 123-122, with 6.1 abnormal left. Kerr had fatigued up the final comedy for Durant afterwards he cut through the baseline. So Jerebko anesthetized the brawl to Durant already he accomplished farside of the perimeter. While Durant dribbled larboard accomplished Utah advanced Joe Ingles, Jerebko cut against the basket. So aback Durant’s jumper a the abhorrent band belted out, Jerebko placed himself in absolute position for the putback.
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“It helps he knew every distinct comedy they were running. He knew everybody on their aggregation and their tendencies,” Durant said. “He was calling out plays and babble to the bank and absolution guys apperceive what was activity on.”
Jerebko absolutely knew what was activity on in the final play.
“Forget the win. Forget the game. My admired allotment was he started babble in the bench’s face,” Warriors advanced Draymond Green said. “That was the best allotment of it.”
The added best part: Jerebko fabricated the game-winning comedy because of his hustle. He additionally appeared adequate clarification a brace of alfresco shots (2-of-3) and arresting admitting absolutely activity absent on plays beforehand.
“That’s how it’s activity to be for Jonas,” Kerr said. “He’s activity to absolutely flash for some games. He’s not activity to comedy in others depending on matchups. But he was absurd tonight. He’s a pro. He’s consistently ready.”
The aboriginal division could not accept concluded any worse. Durant bankrupt out on the ambit to challenge an Alec Burk 3-pointer afore the buzzer, alone to abhorrent him and accolade him three chargeless throws. The comedy captured the Warriors’ all-embracing abridgement of conduct in which they calm 11 fouls and accustomed the Jazz assorted trips to the alms band (15-of-17).
As the Warriors sat on the bench, though, Durant and Curry discussed the charge to break accommodating through an adversarial game. Afterwards all, the Warriors alone trailed, 32-31. The Warriors did not acknowledge appropriate away. They trailed, 81-69, at halftime, by acceptance Utah to account 47 second-quarter credibility to mark an best Warriors adversary almanac for best credibility in the additional quarter. The Warriors still sensed a improvement brewing, though.
“There’s consistently that thought,” Curry said. “That never escapes us until it gets acutely out of hand.”
Durant kept things afloat with 24 credibility on 9-of-13 cutting in the aboriginal half. But Curry started the appear aback in the third division by authoritative 16 credibility while activity 7-of-11 from the acreage and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Some highlights: Curry affected a about-face and adapted on a layup afterwards Utah bouncer Ricky Curry complained he should accept been alleged for a kicked ball. Curry nailed a 3-pointer afterwards on afterwards about landing on Rubio’s feet. Jerebko begin an accessible Curry in the bend for a 25-footer that cut the Jazz advance to 100-97 with 40.3 abnormal left. Curry threw out a brace of three signs and kicked his legs up as if to advance he knew the Warriors would win.
“It’s activity to be a affair all year,” Curry said. “It’s aloof a amount of our competitiveness and resiliency.”
That mindset agitated over into the final quarter. Then, Durant had eight credibility by relying on his trips to the abhorrent band (4-of-4) to affected his absent shots (2-of-8). Curry added six by authoritative 2 of his 3 attempts from 3-point range. The best notable plays: Durant’s abetment to Curry to cut the Jazz’s advance to 111-110 with 7:12 left, Durant’s layup for a 112-111 advance with 6:37 larboard and Durant’s block on Utah centermost Rudy Gobert that led to a brace of chargeless throws for a 116-115 bend with 4:15 remaining.
Even if Durant absent his aftermost two shots, his beforehand comedy set the Warriors up for a win.
“Kevin is the best able scorer in the game,” Kerr said. “He has a acceptable apostle like Ingles on him, and he’s still accepting any attempt he wants.”
Draymond had a Draymond game. Warriors admirers apperceive what that mean. He blimp the box account (14 credibility on 6-of-12 shooting, nine rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes). He offered arresting intensity. He became articulate with his teammates, opponents and officials.
Draymond offered a archetypal Draymond d beneath different circumstances, though. He had absent three exhibitions because of a abscessed larboard knee. He additionally accepted activity fatigued in the Warriors’ division opener area he had two credibility on 1-of-5 shooting, 13 rebounds and bristles assists in 33 minutes.
Where did Green acquisition the energy?
“I started defending,” he said. “I absolutely focused in on the arresting end. Already I focused in on the arresting end and started authoritative plays on that end, that’s what got me going. It’s accepting aback to the basics and accepting aback to what I’m abundant at. Then absolution aggregate abroad aloof happened.”
What abroad happened?
Green started at centermost in the additional division because of his added acuteness and Kerr’s disbelief against second-year advanced Jordan Bell.
Green best up a claimed abhorrent and bifold abstruse with Utah advanced Derrick Favors with 8:08 larboard in the third quarter. Green pushed Gobert afterwards the two circuitous up. Gobert pushed aback afore admiral and teammates intervened. Then, Favors snuck in a push.
Though he calm bristles fouls with 4:04 larboard in the game, Green backward aggressive. He fabricated a 3-point attempt that cut the Jazz’s advance to 121-119 with 3:02 left.
“He’s aggravating to get himself going,” Curry said of Green. “He’s a acute guy. He understands in the moment how to antithesis the fire, chippiness and that bend he needs and not abstract from what we do. He’s able to ascendancy it to the point area it’ll about-face for him as we get added in the season.”
So abundant for the Warriors actuality ablaze years advanced of anybody else. They accept won three NBA titles in the accomplished four years partly because of how able-bodied and frequently they booty 3-pointers. Adjoin Utah, though, the Warriors (10-of-19) attempt more beneath from 3-point ambit than the Jazz (19-of-46).
“We got to get out of the aphotic ages actuality in Golden State,” Kerr joked. “We accept to alpha arena like the blow of the NBA plays.”
Curry did his job by activity 5-of-9 from the perimeter. Thompson absent his two 3-point attempts, though, bringing him to a accumulated 1-of-10 from 3-point ambit through two regular-season games. Durant fabricated his abandoned 3-pointer, while mostly apperception on mid-range shots.
Meanwhile, the Jazz featured Ingles (7-of-11), Rubio (3-of-7) and Donovan Mitchell (4-of-12) ablution from downtown. Ingles, who has proclaimed himself the best ballista in the league, banked in a 37-foot attempt at the end of the third quarter.
“They run a lot of acceptable stuff,” Kerr said of the Jazz. “They ample the agenda with 3 point shooters and Rudy Gobert goes appropriate to the rim and spreads you out. Avant-garde NBA. They’re a acceptable team, able-bodied accomplished and played able-bodied tonight.”
Don’t attending now, but the Warriors are not absolutely arena like they usually do in the avant-garde NBA. Adjoin Oklahoma City, the Warriors went 7-of-26 from 3-point ambit while the Thunder attempt 10-of-37.
“As we bank up our lineups and accept how we’re activity to play,” Curry said, “I’m abiding that will acceleration again.”
It is alone the additional d of the regular-season, and Iguodala is already missing a d because of binding in his larboard calf. Iguodala, 34, alternate in morning shootaround and told Kerr that he acquainted better. But the Warriors are alert Iguodala absent a accumulated 15 amateur aftermost division and six playoff amateur because of assorted ailments.
Still, Kerr predicted the Iguodala would comedy on Sunday in Denver.
“If this were a playoff game, he would play,” Kerr said. “But we’re aloof activity to be actual cautious.”
Because of Iguodala’s absence, the Warriors put Damion Lee on the alive roster. He began practicing on Monday afterwards missing best of training affected because of plantar fasciitis in his larboard foot. The Warriors active Lee on a two-way contract, acceptance him to absorb up to 45 canicule with the Warriors and the of his time with their G-League aggregation in Santa Cruz.
When Curry took centermost date during arena night beforehand this week, the Warriors’ brilliant acted as he does on the court. He did not become too captivated with advantageous the spotlight. Instead, Curry alleged out Eric Housen, who helps with the Warriors’ accessories needs and biking arrangements.
“He’s the guy that makes the accomplished operation work,” Kerr said of Housen, who enters his 32nd division with the Warriors. “It was abundant Steph and the players brought him into the scrum at arena night. He got a moment in the sun. That was able-bodied designed.”
Follow Bay Area Account Group Warriors exhausted biographer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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