SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Just weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors might not have pulled off a win like this without their superstars on the court.
The backups are making big strides for the defending champions.
Jordan Poole scored 26 points and converted a key layup with 1:27 left and the undermanned Warriors rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 112-107 on Wednesday night.
Ty Jerome hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:18 to play after his own steal, then made a key rebound to help set up Donte DiVincenzo’s 3 the next time down as Golden State got another big performance from the reserves.
”I think the stage we’re at as a team right now, coach said after the game that was just straight grit,” Jerome said.
Rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. contributed 11 points with three 3s in 13 minutes off the bench after practicing earlier in the day with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors then arrived about an hour before tip-off. He ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the way.
”I thought Patrick changed the game when he stepped out there and knocked down those 3s,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Baldwin got called up given DiVincenzo had been questionable with right knee soreness while Draymond Green has been nursing a tender right foot.
DiVincenzo scored 19 points and Jerome 17 with the Warriors completing a back-to-back minus starters Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins. Poole tied it at 94 on a 3 with 11:03 left.
”It feels different to win this game based on the circumstances. This is a game we wouldn’t have won a few weeks ago,” Kerr said. ”I think our young guys are really growing.”
Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points and had seven 3-pointers and a season-best 16 rebounds for the Jazz. Jordan Clarkson’s 3 with 1:37 left made it a one-point game before Poole delivered moments later.
Markkanen found his early shooting stroke from long range and also scored with driving layups, making 10 of 22 shots. Clarkson added 22 points. while Mike Conley had 10 assists.
Kelly Olynyk returned from a four-game absence with a sprained left ankle to get nine points and six rebounds in 26 minutes for Utah, which squandered a second-half lead for the second straight game. The Jazz were up 121-110 in the waning minutes of a 126-122 loss at San Antonio on Monday night.
Green wound up with six points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks for the Warriors, who at 15-2 have the league’s best home record and are just trying to establish that same consistency away from Chase Center.
Jazz: The Jazz hit seven 3s in the first quarter, four by Markkanen. … Utah is 7-13 on the road, 5-9 vs. the Western Conference. The Jazz have lost six straight on the Warriors’ floor dating to a 129-96 victory on Jan. 22, 2020. … The Jazz were edged on the boards 51-50.
Warriors: All-Star Andrew Wiggins returned to the arena wearing a mask a day after being away with an illness. He had been scheduled to return to action Wednesday night from being sidelined by a strained muscle in his right thigh area but instead missed his 12th straight game. Wiggins needs to practice so he’s doubtful for Friday with a team off day Thursday.
Jazz: At Sacramento on Friday night.
Warriors: Hosts Portland on Friday night.
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