Making just his second start of the season in place of ailing
Mickael Pietrus, Barnes scored a career-high 24 points, including
17 in the third quarter, to lead Golden State to a 91-78 victory on
Barnes also anchored the Warriors' 1-2-2 zone defense that
stymied Utah's offense and helped hand the Jazz only their second
loss of the season.
"I definitely don't think Utah was ready for it," Barnes said
of the zone, installed just a day earlier by coach Don Nelson. "We
definitely surprised them."
The Jazz shot just 32.5 percent from the floor and committed 23
turnovers while being held to their lowest point total of the
season. It's just the second time this season Utah has been held
below 100 points.
Utah, which had an eight-game winning streak snapped, still owns
the best NBA's best record at 12-2 and has matched the best start
in franchise history. Both losses have come on the road.
"We were just very casual and our team isn't good enough to be
that way," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We won't be able to win
any games if we try to play on a consistent basis that way."
The Warriors (8-6) never trailed and led by as much 20 points
late in the fourth quarter.
One night after posting his previous career high with 21 points
in a 140-129 loss to Denver on Friday, Barnes went 10-of-14 from
the floor and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game after
banging his knee against another player with 11:19 remaining.
"We have some people hurt and some people sick right now, so
I'm just trying to get in there and hopefully establish myself in
this rotation when we get back to full strength," Barnes said.
"This was definitely a gut-check game for us after not showing up
last night in Denver."
Utah rallied from second-half deficits to win each of its
previous four games, including twice from 16 points down. But the
Jazz had no such comeback in the tank against the Warriors, who won
for just the third time in the last 24 meetings between the teams.
Matt Harpring scored 15 points for Utah.
Golden State played without leading scorer Baron Davis, who sat
out his third straight game with a strained right rib muscle.
The Warriors led 43-42 at halftime and were still up by one when
Barnes went to work in the third quarter. He scored on a
three-point play with 9:20 left then had six more points during a
15-0 Golden State run that broke open the game.
Utah never could get going against the Warriors' 1-2-2 zone,
which clogged the lane and prevented the Jazz from establishing any
kind of offense underneath the basket.
"We had to try something new to cover one of the hottest teams
in the league," Nelson said. "Who would have ever thought ...
we'd be able to come in here and beat the best team in the West?
Tonight the basketball gods were looking down on us."
The Jazz struggled through their worst opening quarter of the
season, committing seven turnovers while shooting just 25 percent
from the floor. The 14 points were a season low for Utah, which
struggled with its half-court offense and failed to slow down a
Golden State team minus its leading scorer and a second key
Not that it seemed to matter to the Warriors.
Golden State went on a 14-2 run midway through the first quarter
and led by as much as 30-16 on Barnes' 3-pointer with 11:08
remaining in the half.
The Jazz scored the last 10 points of the second quarter and
pulled within 43-42 at halftime following Harpring's free throw
that capped a 14-5 run.
Davis has now missed 114 games over the past four seasons
due to injuries. ... Sloan still needs four wins to become the
fifth coach in NBA history with 1,000 career victories. ... The
Warriors used their 10th different starting lineup in 14 games this
season ... Carlos Boozer was held to a season-low four points on
2-of-7 shooting for the Jazz after recording double-doubles in 11
of Utah's first 13 games ... All five Golden State starters scored
in double figures for the first time this season.