Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant's aggression key to title run

Adjust Comment Print

If that does happen it would turn the series into effectively a "best of 3" shoot out in Games 5 through 7.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 7 for 29 from the field and 3 for 15 from 3-point range, leaving Durant to lead the Warriors. This opened up the owners - in the course of the third quarter the advantage of "Utah" has reached nine points.

The Warriors have yet to trail against the Jazz and have forced early first-quarter timeouts from Quin Snyder in both games after sprinting out the gate each time.

Trailing 79-78 midway through the fourth, Golden State seized the lead for good on back-to-back layups from Draymond Green and Durant.

This Golden State team rattled off 14 straight wins without Durant when he went down with an MCL sprain in March. They didn't slow them down much in the third, but they kept the game close enough to not be too anxious about it. Curry struggled with shooting, but with around three minutes left in the third, he brought the team within one point of the Jazz.

More news: Ebola: WHO declares outbreak in DR Congo

However, this matchup was controlled by the other All-Star small forward. Gordon Hayward had 33 points to lead the Jazz while Rudy Gobert had 16 points with 16 rebounds.

After a strong Game 1 in the Portland series, he has been quiet the last couple weeks, missing two games against the Blazers with a twinged calf and then slowly working his way back, slumping mostly to the offensive background, by Durant standards. He was called for a Flagrant 1 (upgraded to a Flagrant 2 upon review) for kicking Oklahoma City's Steven Adams in the crotch while flailing his leg in the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors knew when they sent a recruiting team to the Hamptons to persuade him to join them that Durant is a game-changer. However, that's exactly what the Warriors will be shooting for; a complete sweep to get things over as soon as possible, and get as much rest and reserve energy for the Western Conference Final.

Kevin Durant's brilliance in this game took some of the sting out of two bad performances from Golden State's All-NBA backcourt. He fell far from that in Game 3, scoring six points and going 1 for 9 from the field.

Stephen Curry did not fare much better for most of the night.

More news: Should Hanford Incident Cause Concerns of Idaho National Labratory?

But their best shot just wasn't good enough.

Durant and Curry each tallied 11 points in the period, but it wasn't necessarily off crisp ball movement and in the flow of the offence. The Jazz cut the deficit to a basket after Hayward buried three free throws to make it 86-84. He also deserves a lot of credit for not turning the ball over once all night.

At the half, Durant was the only Warrior in double-digit scoring with 22 points.

Durant already missed games in the first round due to a calf injury.

This is the type of mentality and mindset that the Golden State Warriors need from Durant going forward. In a league where only a handful of players can hope to contain Durant, no one on the Utah team has a whispered rumor of a chance to slow him. Durant was locked into the game, yelling at the Jazz's mascot, getting mixed up with Gobert and drilling the dagger. They might have George Hill back for that game, which if nothing else would have helped keep Curry in check in that fourth quarter and boosted Utah's own offenses.

More news: Indian diplomat's phone seized in Islamabad court