SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Stephen Curry was held in relative check for most of Monday night. The reigning MVP and NBA’s leading scorer had 16 points through three quarters as Draymond Green and other teammates did the heavy lifting.
Then came the fourth quarter.
Curry scored 10 of his 26 points in the final 6:20 and the Golden State Warriors held on for their NBA-record 19th consecutive win to start the season after a 106-103 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
“We’ve had some battles and, obviously, we’ve had some lopsided victories,” Curry said. “But what gets lost in the record is the tough games we’ve had to claw our way out of like tonight. Just because we are 19-0 doesn’t mean we can just show up and blow teams out and guarantee a win, we actually have to do something about it.”
With the game tied at 101 with 51 seconds left, Curry hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Warriors the lead. Rodney Hood scored 14 seconds later to bring the Jazz within one.
After Curry missed a 3-pointer, the Jazz had a chance to take the lead, but Hood missed a 3 from the wing with five seconds left. Curry hit two free throws to seal the victory as Gordon Hayward’s half-courter at the buzzer fell way short. Klay Thompson added 20, including four 3-point baskets.
“Outside of a layup or an uncontested shot, that’s a pretty good look.” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Hood’s 3-point attempt. “That’s a good shot for him. … I’ll take Rodney Hood with that shot any day.”
Hayward led the Jazz with 24 points.
The Warriors have won 23 straight regular-season games dating back to last season.
The two teams went back and forth down the stretch hitting shots in the fourth quarter. Alec Burks scored six straight and Favors gave the Jazz a 99-97 lead on a three-point play. Then Curry hit another 3-pointer.
A pair of Favors free throws tied the game at 101.
“We knew this was going to be one of the tougher challenges for us,” Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said. “That team is very well coached and they execute and they got those bigs that are a lot to deal with. Once their crowd got into it and they had their confidence going it was a good solid NBA game.”
Curry hit three 3-pointers after he checked in at the 6:36 mark of the fourth quarter. One tied the game while the other two gave the Warriors a lead.
“We competed against the best team in the league and gave ourselves a chance to win,” Hayward said. “Had a shot at the end. Couple mistakes here and there. … And maybe it’s a different outcome, but can’t complain.
“That’s why they’re 19-0. That’s why he’s the MVP. He’s going to make shots.”
Warriors: Golden State has won nine straight regular-season road games, one shy of the franchise record set last season. … Harrison Barnes missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. Brandon Rush started in his place. … Monday was the first of a seven-game road trip. … Former Jazz guard Ian Clark hit four triples off the bench. … Green had 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Jazz: Utah assigned center Tibor Pleiss to its D-League affiliate Idaho Stampede on Monday. Snyder said he just needs the experience of being on the court and playing through mistake. … The Jazz are 0-6 when allowing 100 points.
PRESSURE BURSTS PIPES?
Walton said the team isn’t worried about the streak. “I think it just adds pressure,” Walton said. “It makes other teams want to beat us that much more, to be the first team to end the streak. WE have guys that embrace pressure and they seem to play better and are more sharp the more pressure and the bigger the stage.”
The Jazz are one of the bigger teams in the league with 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert and 6-10 Derrick Favors in the starting lineup. They go even bigger with a three-wing lineup instead of a point guard for stretches. The Warriors are known for their small-ball lineups. Snyder said there are a lot of variables in matching up — a hot shooter, a matchup they like, foul trouble. “I think you’ve got to be prepared if a team is taking advantage of a matchup,” Snyder said. “Often times you need to try to do what you do, just do it better.”
The Warriors travel to face the Hornets on Wednesday.
The Jazz host the Magic on Thursday.