SALT LAKE CITY — All-Star guard Steph Curry scored 44 points and the Golden State Warriors spoiled a festive banner-raising night for former Utah coach Jerry Sloan with a come-from-behind 95-90 victory over the Jazz Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Curry hit two of his eight 3-pointers during a key 12-0 run in the fourth quarter that put the Warriors (29-19) in position to win and dampen the party-like atmosphere.
Center Andrew Bogut scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to help Golden State follow Thursday’s impressive 111-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers with this road victory.
The Jazz (16-30) were hoping to win for Sloan, who was honored during a halftime ceremony for his legendary coaching career in Utah. It didn’t help that the Jazz played without two starters, center Derrick Favors (hip) and power forward Marvin Williams, because of injuries.
Even so, it appeared for much of the night that Utah might win its third straight game for the first time this season in front of the Hall of Fame coach and a handful of former Jazz greats, including John Stockton and Karl Malone.
Backup guard Alec Burks had a strong showing with 26 points for the Jazz, who held a 77-68 lead in the fourth quarter.
That’s when the Warriors, sparked by Curry’s outside shooting, took over.
Curry tied the game with a 3-pointer, and the Warriors surged ahead 80-77 after a bucket by Bogut and a free throw from Draymond Green.
The Jazz didn’t buckle as Burks and rookie point guard Trey Burke helped Utah regain the lead at 88-87 with 2:17 remaining.
Guard Klay Thompson, Curry and forward Andre Iguodala hit free throws and the Warriors took advantage of two late turnovers by Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward to secure a third victory over Utah this season.
Golden State played without power forward David Lee (shoulder, hip).
The Jazz, who led 48-41 at halftime, lost fill-in starting power forward Jeremy Evans in the second quarter after he bruised a tailbone and his right elbow after crashing to the court.
Center Enes Kanter scored 15 points for Utah, which was outscored 29-19 in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, the night belonged to Sloan, who was honored for his 23-year career as Utah’s head coach. During that time, the Jazz went to two NBA Finals, made the playoffs 19 times, racked up 13 50-win seasons and won over 1,000 games.
NOTES: Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan received a handwritten letter from U.S. President Barak Obama. “Congratulations on your long and remarkable career with the Jazz. Utah justly honors you for the standards of excellence you set with the Mailman and Stockton. But, us Bulls fans still claim you for your grit and work ethic.” … Dozens of former players, coaching colleagues and old-time opponents shared pre-recorded messages of congratulations for Sloan. The comment that drew the biggest laugh from Jazz fans came from Karl Malone’s old nemesis, Charles Barkley. “My only regret is you know how good you would’ve been if you’d only had a real power forward like me? Just kidding Mailman.” … Utah now has 11 former Jazz greats with banners in the rafters, including Pete Maravich, Frank Layden, Darrell Griffith, Mark Eaton, Jeff Hornacek, Larry H. Miller, Hot Rod Hundley, Adrian Dantley, John Stockton and Karl Malone. … Warriors coach Mark Jackson played for Sloan in Utah during the 2002-03 season.
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