Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala, right, celebrates with Kevin Durant (35) after he scores against the Utah Jazz in the second half during Game 3 of the NBA basketball second-round playoff series Saturday, May 6, 2017, in S.
Golden State's hot start in Game 2 was driven by the long-range prowess of All-Star forward Draymond Green, who knocked down four of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 21 points before leaving after a scary fall in the fourth quarter.
"Never lose your aggressiveness", Curry said.
On the next possession, Durant came off a screen and drained a pull-up three over Gobert to make it 92-84.
Just think about how ridiculous that is for a minute.
"They made some unbelievable shots that were timely", Quin Snyder said. "They're able to do that, again, because their anticipation is so great". "You can't worry about who's not playing". It's uncertain if they'll have starting point guard George Hill available after he's missed the past two games with left big toe soreness. He had no answer on the other side, and Durant's 38 points was the big difference in this game.
"It's definitely encouraging", he said after his team's loss on Saturday night. Curry didn't shoot well (6 of 20 from the field, 3 of 11 on 3-pointers) but scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half. He was aggressive in the first quarter, taking 10 shots and scoring 13 points.
Although Warriors got off to another fast start, leading by 10 after the first quarter, Jazz, fueled by a standout performance from French centre Rudy Gobert, responded. First, he hit a 15-foot turnaround over Hayward, then a nine-foot fadeway, and finally a nine-foot step back jumper.
Durant found points when nobody else could, gifting the Warriors with a victory they otherwise would not have earned.
In the closing minutes, Durant was more fired up than usual. He then turned and stared down the courtside fan.
Thirty seconds later, Gobert delivered a hard shove to Durant as he was posting up. On the other, the Jazz just couldn't get stops in this situation. He was whistled for a flagrant-1 and a technical foul.
"We have multiple defenders that can guard multiple positions", Durant said. "Because we call flagrants for stuff like that". Utah should get a lift by returning home, but barring career nights from the likes of Hayward and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz's time in the playoffs will soon come to an end.
A year before, it was Green's suspension in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals that turned the series on its head and allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to rally from a 3-1 series defeat en route to a championship. The franchise is looking to build off its best campaign in seven years - with at least one more win this season, and with championship aspirations going forward - and the themes are similar in both cases. "It's an easy decision to at that moment (to defer to Durant late)".
Golden State is 15-5-2 ATS in its last 22 games. Saturday, the Jazz provided it and Durant and the Warriors took it, icing the game with a 16-7 run that puts them on the brink of the second round.