STEPH Curry caught fire early then Kevin Durant took over late as the Golden State Warriors survived a gallant stand from the undermanned Utah Jazz, 106-99, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on Thursday (Friday, Manila time)
The Warriors had hot start with 29-5 blitz behind Steph Curry’s 14-point first quarter output.But Jazz fought back, particularly turning up the defense and scoring 12 unanswered points midway through the third quarter to cut the gap down to nine, 73-64 at the 4:43 mark of the period.
The Jazz then unleashed a 9-2 run to start to fourth and trim the deficit to five, 84-79, with more than eight minutes left. But Durant scored eight straight points for the Warriors to give the team some breathing room, 92-80, at the 5:01 mark.
When Utah again threatened another comeback, Patrick McCaw drilled a triple and Durant completed a three point play to push the lead up to 14, 101-87, with 2:43 remaining.
Still, Golden State needed some clutch free throws from Curry in the dying seconds to escape with a hard-fought win against a Utah side without top gunner Gordon Hayward.
Curry led the Warriors, winners of four straight and first team to 20 wins this season, with 26 points. Durant had 11 of his 21 in the fourth and added 11 rebounds. Draymond Green battled a late injury and finished with 13 markers, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. McCaw and Klay Thompson each scored 10.
Joe Ingles led Utah with 21 points off the bench. Rudy Gobert had 20 markers and 17 rebounds to lead the Jazz, who saw their three-game win streak snapped and fall to 14-10. Shelvin Mack added 19.