The Golden State Warriors went into a hostile environment in Utah and came out with another playoff victory. The high elevation and loud crowd didn’t bother the Warriors as they won 102-91. The win makes Golden State 7-0 now in the playoffs and Utah’s season is one loss away from being over.
Kevin Durant played his best game of the playoffs thus far for the Warriors. He scored 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting which is his highest scoring total this playoff. Durant also worked hard in the paint and led the team with 13 rebounds. The Warriors needed Durant to step up as their incredible backcourt didn’t shoot up to their standards. Steph Curry found a way to record 23 points but shot just 6-of-20 from the field. The other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, really couldn’t get it going as he finished with six points on 1-of-9 shooting. Curry and Durant combined to seal the deal down the stretch as they scored 22 of the team’s final 24 points.
Utah ended up losing this game by 11 but they were very much in this until the end. Utah led throughout the third quarter which marked their first lead of the series. They built their lead up to nine points but ultimately couldn’t hold off the explosive Warriors.
Gordon Hayward has led the Jazz in scoring throughout the postseason and continued in this game. He finished with 29 points while shooting 7-of-18 and dished six assists. This is the first playoff run in Hayward’s career and he is still figuring out how to take over games to lead his team to victory. It’s a very difficult task to beat Golden State but Hayward hasn’t disappointed. The Jazz’ big man, Rudy Gobert, also played strong in game three. He finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Gobert also got tangled up with Kevin Durant in the paint late in the game which sparked a scuffle between the two stars. Durant was issued a flagrant foul which caused him to be ejected for his antics with Gobert. Utah might come out of this series without a win but the future is bright with Hayward and Gobert leading the team in the coming seasons.
The series will continue with game four coming on Monday night in Utah. A Golden State victory will end the season for Utah and send the Warriors into the Western Conference finals. They’ve appeared in the Western Conference finals the last two seasons and won both times.