Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Sport | By Dustin Murphy

Warriors rebuff Jazz in Game 1

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) scores against the Utah Jazz during the first half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.

If Utah can keep the speed of the game to a crawl for the rest of this series and get a good game from Gordon Hayward, they could easily take a game or two from the Warriors.

It would be impossible for the Jazz to shoot worse than it did at the start of the first and fourth quarters, when they missed all 12 of their shots while getting run 9-0 and 10-0.

"He's been fighting that for most of the year, and fighting it last series", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said on Thursday at shootaround. Making 49 regular season appearances as a member of the Jazz, all of which were starts, he averaged 16.9 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds across 31.5 minutes per contest.

Forward Kevin Durant had 17 points, center Zaza Pachulia scored 10, shooting guard Klay Thompson dropped in 15 and point guard Stephen Curry led all scorers with 22 points. That made up 68% of their bench production as Ian Clark was the only other reserve to put up more than two points off the Golden State bench. The Warriors dismantled Portland in a four-game sweep and haven't played since April 24, waiting to find out their opponent. "And that's what you need in the playoffs to really assert yourself and get the momentum on your side". With better wing defenders on the court than they faced in round one against the Clippers, guys like Hayward and Joe Johnson will struggle to generate the same quality of looks throughout the series. But if we're taking the ball out every time, it's hard for us to get into a rhythm in a transition game.

Curry, who made 7 of 11 shots from the field, tweaked an ankle in the third quarter.

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"Just routine maintenance", he said. For his coaches and bosses, and all those Warriors fans who remain convinced his suspension in Game 5 of the Finals cost Golden State the title against Cleveland, the emoji of choice these days is the one with hands clasped, pointing upward, in a soulful, heartfelt plea. If they don't, then especially when Golden State catches fire from deep themselves (which is essentially inevitable) then Utah will more than likely be buried offensively even more than they were in Game 1. The Warriors committed just seven turnovers, but they forced 14, which they turned into 20 points.

Utah Jazz starting point guard George Hill will not play against the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 due to left big toe soreness.

"Kind of what we expected", he said of the Warriors' defensive approach.

"It's been sore. He's been playing through it", Snyder said. "When I first got here that's what everybody talked about, 'Can you all do what the We Believe team did?'"

The head coach from that team - Don Nelson - was not in attendance.

Salt Lake City tourism officials playfully jabbed back at Golden State Warriors players who bemoaned the lack of nightlife in Utah, hoping to combat the predominantly Mormon state's reputation as a boring place where it's tough to get a drink.

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