Warriors rebuff Jazz in Game 1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors began the first and fourth quarters with impressive runs that allowed them to distance themselves from the Utah Jazz en route to a 106-94 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night.
Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday, also on the Warriors' home floor.
All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry with 22 points in only 30 minutes. The balanced offense helped Golden State, the top seed in the West, remain unbeaten in five postseason contests this season.
Knocking off any of the rust that might have accumulated in seven days off leading into the series, the Warriors shot 48.8 percent against a Utah team that was playing barely 48 hours after having dispatched the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of their first-round series Sunday.
Down by as many as 17 in the first half, the fifth-seeded Jazz managed to hang within 82-73 in the final minute of the third period.
After Draymond Green closed the third quarter with a pair of free throws that made it an 11-point game, the Warriors produced a 10-0 burst to start the final period.
Green had two hoops, including a 3-pointer, in the run during which the Jazz missed six consecutive shots before Joe Johnson dropped in a 3-pointer 3:45 into the period.
The runaway allowed the Warriors to give Curry the fourth quarter off after he tweaked his left ankle on a drive to the hoop late in the third period.
The injury did not appear to be serious, as Curry could be seen lobbying to return to the game, only to be told it wouldn't be necessary.
Curry hit seven of his 11 shots en route to his game-high scoring total. He also found time for seven rebounds and five assists.
Green had six assists and a team-high eight rebounds to go with 17 points.
Kevin Durant added 17 points and Klay Thompson 15 for Golden State, which also opened its first-round series against Portland with a 12-point win.
Rudy Gobert had 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Jazz, who won three times on the road in their first-round series against the Clippers.
Gordon Hayward, harassed into 4-for-15 shooting, finished with 12 points for the Jazz, as did reserve Rodney Hood. Johnson added 11.
The Jazz never led in the game. In fact, they didn't score until the fifth minute on a layup by Gobert, by which point the Warriors had already built a 9-0 lead.
NOTES: Both teams played at full strength despite pregame concerns regarding Jazz PF Derrick Favors (sore back), Warriors PG Shaun Livingston (sprained right index finger) and Warriors SF Matt Barnes (sprained right foot). ... The Warriors honored their 2007 team -- labeled "We Believe" during a first-round playoff win over top-seeded Dallas -- in an on-court ceremony between the first and second quarters. Among those present: PG Baron Davis, SG Jason Richardson, SF Stephen Jackson and backup PG Monta Ellis, one of two team members (along with Golden State's Barnes), who remain active in the league. Noticeably absent was coach Don Nelson. ... The timing of the ceremony was a bit curious. The Warriors were eliminated 4-1 by the Jazz in the second round that year. ... Golden State and Utah have met three times in the postseason, with the Warriors winning twice.