DU­RANT BREAK­OUT DOWNS UTAH

War­riors slay Jazz for 3-0 lead in play­off

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES

KEVIN Du­rant scored 38 points and the Golden State War­riors with­stood a de­ter­mined Utah ef­fort to down the Jazz 10291 on Satur­day to take a com­mand­ing 3-0 lead in their NBA play­off se­ries.

The War­riors will try to close out the best-of-seven West­ern Con­fer­ence sec­ond-round se­ries in game four to­day in Salt Lake City.

The Jazz had hoped a re­turn to their home floor on Satur­day would spark a resur­gence, and it briefly looked as if it had.

Al­though the War­riors got off to an­other fast start, lead­ing by 10 af­ter the first quar­ter, the Jazz, fu­eled by a stand­out per­for­mance from French cen­ter Rudy Gobert, re­sponded.

They seized the lead for the first time in the se­ries when they went up 48-47 in the sec­ond pe­riod, and led 50-49 at half­time.

The hosts stretched their lead to as many as nine in the third quar­ter be­fore the War­riors re­asserted them­selves.

Du­rant did the heavy lift­ing as Stephen Curry con­nected on just six of 20 shots en route to 23 points and Klay Thomp­son made just one bas­ket in scor­ing six points.

Trail­ing 75-74 early in the fourth, the War­riors launched a 10-4 scor­ing run to re­gain a lead they wouldn’t relin­quish.

The War­riors out-scored the Jazz by nine points in the fi­nal four min­utes, Curry warm­ing up late to con­trib­ute to the surge with a three-pointer that made it 89-84.

On the next pos­ses­sion Du­rant came off a screen and drained a pull-up three over Gobert to make it 92-84.

Not long af­ter, Du­rant and Gobert were in­volved in a testy ex­change, with Du­rant called for a fla­grant foul and a tech­ni­cal. Gobert, how­ever, missed both free throws.

Gobert fin­ished the night with 21 points and 15 re­bounds for the Jazz, who were led by Gor­don Hay­ward’s 29 points but still find them­selves one de­feat away from elim­i­na­tion. AFP

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