Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Durant, Warriors push Jazz to brink of elimination

Warriors want to 'destroy everything' and limit Jazz rallies Jazz officially rule out George Hill for Game 2 against Warriors
Damon Campbell | 15 May, 2017, 18:11

By then, the Warriors had rebuilt their lead to 12 points after seeing it dwindle to seven with 1:45 to play.

It was tight the rest of the way as the Warriors emerged with a two point lead after three, and then took over in the mid fourth quarter. Buoyed psychologically by hanging tough against the Golden State Thursday night despite ultimately losing, the Jazz should get significant added emotional juice in front of their own fans.

The Warriors, though, prevailed yet again with a 102-91 win. Green was whistled for arguing with an official from the sidelines and also toyed with the Utah crowd, flashing up two fingers and a zero, in reference to the series lead. Should the Dubs complete the sweep, they will move on to the Western Conference Finals to face the victor of the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets series. Utah has been on the road for almost a week after having to win Game 7 against the Clippers last Sunday and then catching a flight straight to the Bay Area to face the Warriors.

He did just that against the Jazz, putting the exclamation point on the game with his final bucket: a crossover, fadeaway bank-shot on the three-point line over Gordon Hayward's arms.

However, this matchup was controlled by the other All-Star small forward.

But Durant delivered one final backbreaker, tossing in a banked 22-footer to give him 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting - his most important performance since joining the Warriors. It was not just his scoring total that stood out, but rather how he got to that total.

On the next possession, Kevin Durant - scorching hot most of the night - went a simpler route to shove his dagger.

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"KD (Durant) had a big night offensively".

The Warriors knew when they sent a recruiting team to the Hamptons to persuade him to join them that Durant is a game-changer. And with that the Warriors are one more win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. The Jazz were contesting shots well, and allowed to play some physical defense. and the only one hurting Utah was Kevin Durant. Draymond Green is averaging 19 points per game, 6 assists per game and 7.5 rebounds per games, while Klay Thompson is averaging 14.5 points per games, 4 assists per game and 4 rebounds per game. The furious Warriors forward began barking into ear of official Bennie Adams and had to be pulled aside by Stephen Curry.

But their best shot just wasn't good enough.

Durant found points when nobody else could, gifting the Warriors with a victory they otherwise would not have earned. Golden State has assisted on 79 percent of all its field goals in this series and 69 percent of its field goals in the entire postseason.

Utah started slowly, but gradually gathered momentum. 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.

Saturday nights game against the Utah Jazz was the flawless example.

The Jazz's starting point guard has missed the last two games while dealing with soreness in his big toe. Game 4 may come down to whether the Warriors want to go for the throat and sweep the Jazz on their home floor.

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