DRAYMOND Green sizzled early before Kevin Durant and Steph Curry got going late as the Golden State Warriors held off the Utah Jazz, 115-104, to take a 2-0 lead in their West semis series on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) at the Oracle Arena.
Durant and Curry combined for 16 of Golden State’s 23 points in the fourth quarter to fend off Utah’s comeback attempts after a sizzling start by Green got the Warriors up by 20 early on.
Green torched the Jazz in hitting his first four shots from beyond the arc to lead the Warriors rampage with a 33-15 lead after one quarter. But the Jazz, behind Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward, went on a 12-2 blitz past the midway point of the second quarter to cut the gap to 10 before the Warriors closed the half strong to take a 60-47 lead at the break.
Utah kept clawing back in the third, with Hayward again taking over to trim a 16-point deficit down to eight with another 8-0 blast before Matt Barnes got the Warriors ahead by 10 at the end of the quarter, 92-82.
With the Jazz still within reach, the Warriors also got a scare after an apparent knee injury on Green that forced him to head to the locker room. But Green made it back to the game halfway through the fourth with Golden State hanging on to a 9-point lead, 102-93.
After Rodney Hood’s jumper cut the gap to seven, Durant gave a nifty feed to Andre Iguodala for the slam to put the Warriors ahead, 111-102, with 1:45 remaining.
The Warriors turned up the defense while Durant proved steady at the stripe to preserve the win.
Durant scored 11 of his team-high 25 in the fourth, while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing seven assists. Curry added 23 markers built on five triples, while Green finished with 21 points, including five treys as well.
Hayward led all scorers with 33 points. Gobert finished with 16 markers and the same number of rebounds, while Shelvin Mack, who started for the injured George Hill, scored 14.
Game 3 heads to Utah on Saturday.