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Kevin Durant sizzles with 38, Warriors up 3-0 over Jazz
May 25 2017, 08:50 | Van Peters
When a couple All-Stars had a bit of a rough night, it was no problem; another, a recent MVP, just stepped up and took care of business. Over the last quarter and a half, the Dubs showed that they were the best defensive team in the National Basketball Association.
Golden State's ability to shift the offensive strategy wouldn't be possible if not for Curry's willingness to slide into more of a sidekick role, which he did in the fourth quarter as Durant accumulated a usage percentage of 43.5, compared to Curry's 31.8. Despite winning by double digits, it was a rough game to watch. This evening only three players (KD, Curry, Iguodala) met that benchmark.
Taking care of the ball helped Golden State in the end. For most teams 17 assists would be considered a mediocre offering, but for the Dubs it represents a night of poor execution given their in season 30 assist average.
Can the Warriors continue to protect the ball?
This wasn't a typical Golden State game. And there it was, on full display, when the Warriors absolutely needed it. Curry's usual rest pattern has him playing the entire first and third quarters, then re-entering the game midway through the second and fourth periods.
NEED TO KNOW: Utah is on ledge, but the higher seed is supposed to win the first two games. They were almost knocked out of the Conference Finals! The Warriors looked off all game. Utah shot 7/22 from outside in this game which is not very good for them.
How much of a fight will the Jazz put up?
Stephen Curry scored 23 points, but shot 6-of-20 to get there.
Regardless, the Jazz don't have a defender that can stay with Durant and although he didn't have this kind of impact in Games 1 and 2, Durant was absolutely unstoppable tonight.
Three times, they delivered it to him 15 feet from the hoop and then cleared out.
But their best shot just wasn't good enough.
Golden state arrived in salt lake city, with two home victories. The Utah Jazz are allowing 34.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 38.8 rebounds per game. In a league where only a handful of players can hope to contain Durant, no one on the Utah team has a whispered rumor of a chance to slow him. The Warriors won the battle of the boards 51-42. They overcame an early 11-point deficit and turned a Draymond Green technical foul into a 22-9 run in the second and third quarter.
Snyder is fully aware that the Jazz will need to do more than just improve to prolong the organization's first playoff adventure in five years. Klay Thompson was limited to 6 points on 1-9 shooting.
After an incredibly exhilarating first round against the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz fans were hungry for more great basketball in the second round against the Golden State Warriors.
The Jazz can start making vacation plans. Gordon Hayward dropped 29 points in addition to six assists.
Rudy Gobert stepped up in a big way for the Jazz, recording 21 points with 15 rebounds. Gobert came up with some nice defensive plays for the Jazz.
Durant made threes, four of them.
Rudy Gobert tends to get into opponent's heads from time to time. The quarter ended with the Jazz up one, 50-49. PG George Hill (left big toe sprain/soreness) is questionable. Game 4 may come down to whether the Warriors want to go for the throat and sweep the Jazz on their home floor.
Unfortunately, Utah simply doesn't have the firepower to keep up with Golden State.