Golden State Warriors 102 - Utah Jazz 91: Game 3 Recap

The Golden State Warriors are without one of their most important members, head coach Steve Kerr, who's dealing with complications stemming from his back surgery in the summer of 2015.

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

Hayward, on the strength of 13-of-14 shooting from the foul line, scored 29 points and also had six assists. The Jazz shot 39 percent overall, including 7-of-22 from three-point range, and were unable to match the tempo when the Warriors eventually found their rhythm. And the Warriors' offense - all flash, no substance - made it through the second half with 0 turnovers, and once again tied a franchise playoff low with 7 for the game.

On the other hand, the Jazz got solid contributions from Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, but it still doesn't seem to be enough.

The Warriors lead the Western Conference semifinal series 3-0, with all three victories coming by margins of 11 or 12 points. When asked if he warranted a technical on Saturday, Green said: "You want to know what i said?" Durant wasn't just dribbling it out, trying to do it all himself. Golden State is firing on all cylinders and look to as close as unbeatable as possible.

This is true despite the Warriors shooting the ball only okay, not particularly well.

Durant scored a majority of his 25 points on 13 of 15 free throws. Hayward managed to hold Durant mostly in check but ultimately lost to his matchup on both ends of the floor. Gobert was most effective during Zaza Pachulia's minutes, during which Gobert largely roamed the key playing free safety and dared Pachulia to shoot. There wasn't much Utah could do to contend a flurry of turnaround fadeaways, drives to the basket and a pair of 3s. With Curry struggling (despite the hot finish he still closed 6-of-20 shooting) and Klay Thompson remaining way off (1-of-9 shooting), Durant shouldered the offensive load.

The Trail Blazers undoubtedly were demoralized after losing a 16-point lead in Game 3, resembling the Jazz's missed opportunity Saturday.

Just for a second, everyone thought that the Jazz might actually win a game in this series. He had an assist in the game but didn't take a shot. The game was off to a slow start until the Warriors scored nearly two minutes into the game on a Steph Curry cut to the basket for an easy layup. Inserting Iguodala in place of Pachulia forced Gobert to defend the entire court.

In two games, Golden State has shown they have the ability to dominate Utah all the way to a four-game sweep, but Utah has shown that they will never cower despite Golden State's intimidating lineup. Still, it's an interesting trend to watch out for as the Warriors continue to roll through the playoffs.

Instead, the Warriors rode the rough wave and came out of it on the other side one win away from the Western Conference Finals. However, Utah's efficacy on the break means that they don't have to take their feet off the gas pedal in transition and pull back for a halfcourt set. For us, it's simplistic, basic backyard basketball.

The first game of this series carried on at a slower pace than Utah's 30th ranked regular season pace.

  • Julie Sanders