Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on May 22, 2018. He scored a game-high 38 against the Utah Jazz in Golden State's 2018019 road opener. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on May 22, 2018. He scored a game-high 38 against the Utah Jazz in Golden State's 2018019 road opener. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Jonas Jerebko wins it for Golden State in tense shootout with Utah Jazz

By Rob Johnson
Special to S.F. Examiner

SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors wrecked the Utah Jazz’s home opener in a 124-123 win, thanks to the last-second heroics of new Warrior and former Jazz, Jonas Jerebko.

Trailing the Utah Jazz 123-122 with scant seconds remaining on Friday, the Golden State Warriors saw Kevin Durant’s jumper roll off the rim. With just 0.3 seconds remaining, newcomer Jonas Jerebko tipped in what turned out to be the game-winner. Jerebko, who played last season with Utah, flexed and cheered in front of the Jazz bench.

Jerebko came off the bench and finished with a total of 10 points in 24 minutes in the 124-123 win against his former team, for whom he averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season en route to a Western Conference Semifinals loss to the Houston Rockets. Jerebko was one of five Warriors who scored in double figures on the night, led by Durant’s 38.

“We got some great guys on this team,” Jerebko. “They knew this was a big game for me coming back here, I told them before, ‘Let’s get a win’… and to get it that way was special.”

The Warriors got foul-happy in the first quarter, and thanks to the Jazz making 15-of-17 free-throws, Golden State 34-32 at the end of the period.

“We just had to get smarter. We fouled too much in the first quarter,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “Once we settled down, that’s when we were able to get back in the game.”

In the second quarter, the Utah’s trips to the free-throw settled down, but then the Jazz started hitting their three-pointers. They were 11-for-19 from distance at the break, and despite Durant dropping 24 points in the first half, Utah led the Warriors 81-69.

“They played extremely well, they’re a team on the rise,” said Kerr. “I’m proud of our team for hanging in there, coming back, and getting a great win.”

The Jazz had six player score double-figures, led by Joe Ingles’ 27 points.

“Everybody is planning and scheming for us. It’s flattering, but it’s also difficult,” Kerr said. “Teams are building their rosters specifically to try and guard us.”

After halftime, Stephen Curry got going and added 22 of his 31 points as the Warriors slowly clawed back.

Draymond Green, who played center in the small ball lineup instead of Jordan Bell, also played a key role of keeping the Warriors in the game. He filled the stat sheet with 14 points, 6 assists, 9 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

“I started focusing on the defensive end,” said Green. “Once I focus on the defensive end and start making plays, that’s what gets me going.”

His favorite part, though? Jerebko.

“Forget the win, forget the game,” Green said. “My favorite part was when he starting yelling at their bench.”Golden State WarriorsJonas JerebkoKevin DurantNBAStephen CurrySteve KerrUtah Jazz

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23), shown here against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center on January 20, was ejected from Thursday night’s game on a technical foul after he yelled at a teammate during a play. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors 119-101 loss to Knicks highlights Draymond Green’s value

Team struggles with fouls, lack of discipline in play

Scooter companies have expanded their distribution in neighborhoods such as the Richmond and Sunset districts. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board signs off on changes to scooter permit program

Companies will gete longer permits, but higher stakes

Most Read