The Golden State Warriors hosted the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night for game 2 of their Western Conference Semi-Final series. The Jazz fought hard, but the result wasn’t much better than game 1 for them. The Warriors were victorious, 115-104, led by Kevin Durant’s 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. Draymond Green had a big night, making 5 3 point baskets en route to scoring 21 points. Steph Curry scored 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists. While his fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson put up 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Gordon Hayward bounced back from his poor game 1 performance, scoring 33 points, grabbing 5 Rebounds, and dishing out 3 assists. Rudy Gobert chipped in 16 points and 16 rebounds. The Jazz got some unexpected help off the bench from Shelvin Mack, who scored 14 points, grabbed 3 boards, and dropped 4 dimes. Role players like Mack will have to continue stepping up if Utah hopes to steal a game at some point.
KD would be the one who got the ball game started, making the first shot, but the 1at quarter would belong to Draymond Green. Green made his first 3 point bucket before we were even one full minute into the game. At the 10:17 mark of the 1st quarter, Green hit his 2nd 3 point shot, and put the Warriors up 8-3. The Jazz would fire back, making two 3’s of their own, but when Steph Curry hit a 3 pointer with 6:48 to go in the 1st, the Warriors found themselves up 11, 19-8. Draymond Green would make yet another 3 pointer at the 1:38 mark of the 1st quarter, and another one with 1:04 to go, bringing his total to 4 in the quarter, and puttinf the Warriors up 20, 33-13. Derrick Favors would score a bucket for the Jazz before the end of the quarter, and they’d head into the 2nd down 33-15. The Jazz came out swinging to start the 2nd quarter. They went on a 7-2 run, and cut the Warrior lead to 13 on a Dante Exum layup with 10:30 left in the half. By the 7:54 mark though, the Warriors were back up 17, 40-23. A 3 point shot by Steph Curry upped the lead to 20, 47-27, with 6:16 to go in the half. The Jazz wouldn’t fold though, they responded with a 12-2 run, and cut the lead to 10, 49-39, with 2:41 to go in the 2nd quarter. Kevin Durant sank 2 free throws, with 1:06 left in the half, that gave the Warriors an 18 point lead. 58-40. The Jazz would again fight back though, and go into the half only down 13 points, 60-47.
Joe Johnson would try to get Utah out to a fast start in the 3rd quarter, opening up with a 3 long bucket. Klay Thompson would answer back with a 3 of his own though, and keep the lead at 13 points. Utah kept plugging along, and a jumper by Rodney Hood at the 9:55 mark of the 3rd quarter, cut the lead to only 6 points, 63-57. By the 6:54 mark though, 2 Draymond Green free throws would take the Warrior lead back to 15, 75-60. The Jazz would once again eat into the lead, and cut it to 8 with :48 seconds to go in the 3rd. A Matt Barnes floater would put the Warriors up 10, 92-82 at the end of 3 quarters. The 4th quarter opened up with a small flurry by Ian Clark, which put the Warriors back up by 15, 97-82, early in the 4th quarter. The Jazz would again answer back though, and after two made free throws by Dante Exum at the 5:16 mark of the 4th, the lead was under double digits, 103-92. Rodney Hood would hit a jumper with 2:04 left in the game that somehow brought Utah to within 7 points, 109-102, but the Warriors would get a dunk from Andre Iguodala at the 1:45 mark, and make their free throws late to ice the game. Overall it was a better effort for the Jazz. You can’t help but be impressed with their resilience, and refusal to get blown out. There were many points during the game where the Jazz could’ve just quit and let the game get out of hand, but they fought back instead. They’ll head home now and try to steal one of the next two games in order to extend the series. Golden State might very well sweep Utah, but the Jazz certainly aren’t going to make it easy for them.
Game 3 is Saturday at 8:30 pm EST