Early and late flurries give Warriors easy win

OAKLAND • The defensive-minded Utah Jazz would like to shorten the games against the Golden State Warriors, the National Basketball Association's (NBA) highest-scoring team, in their Western Conference semi-final play-off series.

But, as Utah coach Quin Snyder informed his players after the Jazz's 106-94 Game One loss on Tuesday, having the offence show up three or four minutes late for the first and final quarters was not what he had in mind.

The Warriors used a 9-0 game-opening burst to create a lead they never relinquished, and a 10-0 flurry at the start of the fourth quarter to put the Jazz away for good.

"If you have those moments where you're not urgent enough, they just punish you for it," Snyder said.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry with 22 points in only 30 minutes. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant each added 17 points to help the Western Conference top seeds remain unbeaten in five contests this post-season.

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  • All five of Golden State's starters racked up double figures in points against Utah.

"We picked up right where we left off," Curry said, referring back to Golden State's 4-0 first-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

"Our defence to start the first quarter gave us a chance to settle in offensively and find our rhythm.

"That's what you need in the playoffs - to really assert yourself and get the momentum on your side."

Knocking off any of the rust that might have accumulated in seven days off leading into the series, the Warriors shot 48.8 per cent against a Utah team who were playing barely 48 hours after having dispatched the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Seven of their first-round series on Sunday.

"I don't want to blame it on fatigue at all," said Jazz star Gordon Hayward, who missed 11 of his 15 shots and was limited to 12 points.

"They just came out firing and knocked us back a little bit."

Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, who was filling in for the ailing Steve Kerr, said: "Every time they went on a run, it seemed we locked in and responded."

The runaway allowed the Warriors to give Curry the fourth quarter off after he tweaked his left ankle on a drive to the hoop in the third period.

Curry later said the injury was not serious, labelling his late rest "routine maintenance".

Game Two is scheduled for tonight, also on the Warriors' home floor.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2017, with the headline 'Early and late flurries give Warriors easy win'. Print Edition | Subscribe