On a night where Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 29 points on 7-29 shooting, Kevin Durant stepped up in an enormous manner. He finished with 38 points (15-26) and 13 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to the 102-91 win.
Offense was hard to come by for the Warriors, forcing them to play from behind for extended minutes in the second and third quarters. To combat their struggles offensively, they were forced to focus in on the defensive side of the ball.
The following is from Kevin Durant in his post-game interview with Doris Burke:
“When the offense isn’t working we got to get stops”
Golden State held the Utah Jazz to their playoff low in points (91), which is even more impressive considering they did it in Utah. Neither team shot particularly well, but the Jazz finished just 39% from the field.
Gordon Hayward led the offensive load for the Jazz, finishing with 29 points, but did so ineffectively, shooting 7-18. Joe Johnson also cooled off, finishing with a playoff low 7 points (3-12).
The Jazz should be disappointed with how this one played out. There’s not going to be many nights where a team is gifted poor offensive outputs from the splash brothers, but when it happens, teams must capitalize.
The writing seems to be on the wall for the Jazz, falling to a 3-0 deficit in the series. Regardless of the series outcome, the season has been successful for Utah. Few had high expectations for this young Jazz team, but they came out and grabbed the 4-seed while knocking out the Clippers in Round 1.
The Jazz are in good position to keep getting better. They have one of the games bright young coaches in Quinn Snyder, and a building block in Rudy Gobert. This off-season is vital however, with Gordon Hayward entering free agency with no guarantee of his return.
The Warriors keep rolling. They have now won 22 of their last 23, are 7-0 in the playoffs, and are playing maybe their best ball of the season. They remain the favorites to win it all, and for good reason.
The Warriors will seek the sweep Monday with a 9:00 PM (EST) game in Utah.