Draymond Green was the player to watch, with bear-like defense and superb offensive contributions. He racked up 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
All five Warriors’ starters managed double-digit scoring, with Kevin Durant matching Green’s 17 points, Klay Thompson putting up 15 and Zaza Pachulia getting 10.
However, it was Stephen Curry who led the team with a game-high 22 points. Curry would later leave the game with a sore ankle and Rudy Gobert’s soul.
Steph Curry dropped Rudy Gobert into the blender. Turned him into a smoothie pic.twitter.com/c6h1tdggUm— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) May 3, 2017
It was between the third and fourth quarters when Curry met with team trainers to work on an issue with his ankle. Though he did re-enter the game later in the quarter, he was quickly pulled back out.
It was not a great start for Utah, as Golden State went on an early 9-0 run in the first four minutes. However, that stifling defense came with early foul trouble on Thompson and Pachulia. The Jazz were able to use that to their advantage as they went on a bit of a tear of their own to keep the Warriors within their sights.
But Golden State went on another run, outscoring Utah 19-6, and building a fairly comfortable lead early in the second quarter. A pair of jumpers for Durant and a pair of layups for Curry led up to a killer defensive play from Green who managed to force a turnover and a dime to Durant for a dunk to close the half up 58-46.
Utah managed to linger in the third quarter, outscoring Golden State by two points. But the quarter featured shining moments from Green on both ends of the court. A Curry turnover led to Gordon Hayward crossing the court and attempting a pass, only to have Green deflect it and knock it out of bounds off of Utah, followed by a resounding slam dunk from Green on the other end. Gorgeous stuff.
The only drama in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors opened it up on a 12-0 run and never looked back, was Curry’s ankle. Mike Brown and Curry himself have both said that he is fine. So, let’s try not to get too nervous, everyone, although last year was tough on us all.
Finally, because I am an unabashed fan of JaVale McGee and his majestic soaring dunks, here’s my play of the night: