Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant's aggression key to title run

  • Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant's aggression key to title run

Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant's aggression key to title run

Golden State's Splash Brothers duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 7-of-29 from the field, while Draymond Green's outside shot crashed back down to Earth as he went 0-of-3 from long range.

Because at some point, when the competition heightens in this postseason - against Houston or San Antonio or Cleveland - you expect more consistent situations like Saturday night: The Warriors, with under four minutes left, protecting a two-point lead, not marinating in another double-digit blowout. Gordon Hayward was making plays and finished with 29 points.

And dominating it all was Kevin Durant.

Having played in Game 4 as the Warriors ousted the Trail Blazers, Game 3 of the series against Utah was his fourth consecutive game.

But a poor overall shooting stat of 39 per cent and weak return from their bench cost the Jazz. Sporadic shooting, an amped up road crowd and some dominant spurts from Rudy Gobert had the Warriors only up two with under four minutes left.

While Durant consistently willed the Warriors with big shots on Saturday night, it was his aggression that took over.

Warriors interim coach Mike Brown took matters into his own hands in Game 2 when it came to getting Curry back in the game. Both were in a great mood after the game and they got to learn about a new word, "kerfuffle". This was by far his best game of the post season. Saturday, the Jazz provided it and Durant and the Warriors took it, icing the game with a 16-7 run that puts them on the brink of the second round.

Regardless, the Jazz don't have a defender that can stay with Durant and although he didn't have this kind of impact in Games 1 and 2, Durant was absolutely unstoppable tonight. Joe Johnson was the game-saver then, and he had some advice to help pick Utah up down the stretch of the current series, too. The Warriors, however, got more than 20 points from three of their stars, which was more than enough to beat the Jazz, especially since the team was without George Hill, who is dealing with a toe injury. Here's the box score below from Game 3.

At the start of the second half Hayward knocked down a three, the Jazz got some stops and makes, but could never pull away. The two teams that we expect to be there have yet to lose a playoff game. Motivation is always a question when a team is down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series. In Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Green was retroactively charged with a Flagrant 1 for taking a swipe at LeBron James' genitals after James stepped over Green.

Utah coach Quin Snyder admitted Hayward was a different player in Game 2 than he has shown in recent prior meetings against the Warriors.

Utah's offense made strides in the second quarter, with the Jazz shooting 12-of-19 from the field.

Let's be honest. The Warriors aren't in any danger of losing this series. "If that's really losing control of your emotions, then I don't know". However, he and his backcourt mate have to be feeling lucky right now that Kevin Durant controlled the game and saved them from some embarrassing next-day headlines. Game 4 may come down to whether the Warriors want to go for the throat and sweep the Jazz on their home floor.