Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Kevin Durant scores 38, powers Warriors to Game 3 win in Utah


The points came fast, furiously and in a variety of manners: Durant snuck past Rudy Gobert for a lay-up, he walked into a mid-range jumper, he hit a pull-up three over Gobert, he drained a step-back near the foul line over Gobert, and he even kissed in a dagger off the glass in the fame's final minute.

That style, however, doesn't always suit the playoffs, but in their 102-91 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 3 of the second round series, the Warriors proved they can adapt and play out of their comfort zone.

The Golden State Warriors protected homecourt advantage in their second round matchup against the Utah Jazz by winning the first two games of the series by double digits at Oracle Arena. Then the Jazz played their best quarter of the series.

"Myself and the other 19,000 people in the arena and everybody watching on TV saw the same thing I saw", Curry said. The Jazz shut down Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry for much of the Saturday game.

He stayed patient and trusted in the work he put in going into the game and it paid off.

"I'm going try to say this is humbly as I can", Durant said. Rudy Gobert had a huge game with 21 points, 15 boards, and a couple blocks.

Trailing 79-78 midway through the fourth, Golden State seized the lead for good on back-to-back layups from Draymond Green and Durant. Amazingly, Curry still finished with 23 points. Thompson is still one of the best two-way players in the game, and his defense will be extremely important as the Warriors continue to advance.

The top-seeded Golden State Warriors will try to sweep the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz and earn some rest as big road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark for Game 4 on Monday.

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"I think the problem we had was we stopped moving the ball", Gobert said.

If there is one thing we have learned from this Jazz season, it's that they can have every reason to mail it in, but they never do, always giving their best shot.

Although Durant averaged the fewest amount of points per game this year since his rookie season, he recorded the highest field goal percentage of his career this year with the Warriors (53.7%).

Once in front, Utah built a cushion early in the third quarter. The Golden State Warriors are the overwhelming favourites to win the 2017 National Basketball Association championship. Some games it is Durant. Playing at a slower pace is nothing new to Utah, but it inevitably means taking more shots in late shot clock situations, which they did not have a lot of success with in Game 2.

The Warriors managed to take a 72-70 lead into the fourth despite shooting just 8-of-24 from the field in the third.

Golden State are at their best when the ball moves crisply around the court and player movement is active. But the Warriors also had only seven turnovers, with none in the second half.

Warriors interim coach Mike Brown took matters into his own hands in Game 2 when it came to getting Curry back in the game. "There was no panic involved or anything like that".

Jazz starting point guard George Hill missed his second consecutive game with a big toe injury. They cut Golden State's lead to 31-27 when Gobert capped a 7-0 run after turning a steal by Shelvin Mack into a breakaway dunk.

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