OAKLAND (California) • The Golden State Warriors still have not lost during this post-season, but they did experience something new on Thursday. Sweat.
Draymond Green led an early breakaway attempt with a pair of threes that produced a 20-point lead. But the Warriors could not put the Utah Jazz away until the final two minutes of their 115-104 win in Game Two of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference semi-finals.
"It wasn't easy," Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown said. "We know we can play better. We broke down in a lot of areas where we should have been better."
Green (21), Kevin Durant (25) and Stephen Curry (23) all topped 20 points for the Warriors, who will take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series to Salt Lake City for Game Three today (tomorrow morning, Singapore time).
"I wouldn't use the word discouraged," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of his team. "You're encouraged about some of the things you did."
Utah's Gordon Hayward, held to 12 points in Tuesday's 94-106 loss in Game One, led all scorers with 33 points.
The biggest scare the Warriors survived in the game occurred early in the fourth period when Green fell to the court while trying an awkward driving shot against Jazz centre Rudy Gobert.
The defensive star got to his feet quickly, but grabbed his left knee as he dropped back to the floor, which resulted in a stoppage of play. He was able to walk to the locker room, where he was examined. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the bench.
"I knew my knee was locking up a little bit," said Green, who clearly was less concerned than most of the full house at Oracle Arena.
"Obviously it's always good to know you're okay."
Durant scored the majority of his points from the free-throw line, making 13 of 15 attempts. He led the Warriors with 11 rebounds and tied Curry for game-high honours in assists, with seven.
Green and Curry each made five of their eight three-point efforts as the Warriors rebounded from a sub-standard effort from beyond the arc in Game One to connect on 14 of 31.
"They're a great defensive team, and great defensive teams usually collapse in the paint and help," Curry said. "When you do that, they take away Klay (Thompson), take away K.D. (Durant) or me on the wing. Draymond obviously is a more-than-capable three-point shooter. We love that shot. It gives us a huge lift."