OAKLAND — When Draymond Green is hitting 3s, you can’t beat the Golden State Warriors.
That trend held true in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals Thursday evening, when Green’s five 3s helped lead the Warriors over the Jazz 115-104, despite another imperfect all-around performance.
After falling behind by 18 in the first quarter, the Jazz did their best to hang around, but simply lacked the firepower to stick with Golden State even with 17 Warriors turnovers. Golden State made up for the sloppiness with impeccable ball movement, combining for 32 assists, including seven from Curry, and six from Durant, Green and Thompson. Steph and KD also added 23 and 21 points respectively.
Green was the Warriors’ star Thursday and had an excellent all-around game on both ends, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. In a scary moment, Green left the game early in the fourth quarter with an apparent left knee injury, but was able to leave the floor under his own power, albeit with a slight limp. Luckily, Green returned to the game midway through the quarter.
— KNBR (@KNBR) May 5, 2017
With starting point guard George Hill out, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder was forced to switch up defensive assignments to start the game, giving Joe Ingles the thankless assignment of guarding Curry. It wasn’t the Warriors sharpshooter that hurt Utah from deep early, however, but Green, who continued his scorching shooting in the playoffs, hitting his first four 3s and helping Golden State blast off to a 33-15 lead after 12 minutes. By the end of the first quarter, Green’s 17 3s lead all players in the postseason.
The #Warriors are 11-1 this season when Draymond Green hits at least three 3s.
This is his fourth. pic.twitter.com/yGvbE751Vk
— KNBR (@KNBR) May 5, 2017
In all, Golden State outclassed the Jazz in the first quarter, going 14-of-23 from the field, with 11 assists and just three turnovers.
Utah finally came to life late in the 2nd, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 10 and going on a 10-0 run by taking advantage of nine Golden State first half turnovers. The Jazz outscored the Warriors 32-27 in the quarter, cutting Golden State’s lead to 60-47 at the half.
The Jazz cut the lead to six just over two minutes into the second half. Interim head coach Mike Brown responded by immediately calling timeout, and subbed Iguodala in for Pachulia. The move would ultimately define the game. Golden State proceeded to go on an 17-8 run, of which the Jazz would never recover. A behind-the-back pass from Iguodala to a Durant dunk was the signature moment of the stretch.
This play’s all Iguodala: quick hands strip, save of a sketchy pass, then sweet behind-the-back pass to Durant pic.twitter.com/XvgjCt33Ak
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 5, 2017
Despite the burst, the Jazz again outscored the Warriors in the third 35-32, cutting the lead to 92-82 entering the final frame. Golden State would ultimately outlast Utah, outscoring them in the quarter 23-22.
With a 2-0 lead in the series, the Warriors head to Utah for Saturday’s Game 3. The game will be broadcast on ABC at 5:30 PM.