Thu, May 04, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Curry, Warriors roll past Utah Jazz after layoff

AP, OAKLAND, California

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, center, goes to the basket in Game 1 of their NBA second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz in Oakland, California, on Tuesday.

Photo: AP

Stephen Curry pulled off a razzle-dazzle spin move right around big Rudy Gobert at the perimeter, went in for a layup and raised his hands, begging the sellout crowd to do its thing.

The Golden State Warriors sure did theirs, using that up-tempo, pass-happy style to run right by the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their Western Conference second-round series.

Curry scored 22 points in three quarters of work as the top-seeded Warriors warmed up in a hurry after a week-long layoff between playoff games, beating the Jazz 106-94 on Tuesday.

“I’ll keep enjoying it. I feel like I have one of the better seats in the house and I’m not even paying for it,” fill-in Warriors head coach Mike Brown said when asked about Curry’s slick moves.

Draymond Green scored Golden State’s first six points of the fourth quarter and wound up with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two more blocks to bring his remarkable five-game playoff swat total to 19.

Kevin Durant added 17 points on an uncharacteristically cold shooting night at seven for 17, and had five rebounds and five assists. He missed the middle two games against Portland because of a strained left calf then returned for 20 minutes in Game 4. Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points in 14 minutes.

Gobert had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a flagrant 1 foul on Green in the fourth for the Jazz, who just finished off the Clippers in a seven-game series on Sunday, while the Warriors waited after eliminating the Portland Trail Blazers in a sweep on Monday last week.

“We picked up right where we left off,” Curry said. “We weren’t clicking making shots early on, but our defense really gave us an opportunity to find that flow and that’s what you need in the playoffs.”

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is to be played today at Oracle Arena, where it is a night of nostalgia as Golden State plan to honor their 2007 “We Believe” team who ended a 13-year playoff drought and stunned Dallas in the first round.

Green insisted it might take the Warriors a quarter or so to find their rhythm as they finally got to play again.

They were not sharp from three-point range while going seven for 29, with Klay Thompson making three of those on the way to 15 points.

The methodical, slow-you-down Jazz team making their first playoff appearance in five years could not keep pace in transition.

“If you have those moments where you’re not urgent enough, they just punish you for it,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

The Warriors outscored the Jazz 29-6 on the break and committed only seven turnovers, matching a franchise playoff low.

“They’re a fast-breaking team and we’re basically not,” Utah’s Joe Johnson said.

Brown guided the Warriors as they are missing reigning NBA Coach of the Year Steve Kerr, who was not at the arena as he deals with complications from two back surgeries nearly two years ago.

He also missed the final two games of the Portland series.

In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points — the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history — to help Boston beat the Washington Wizards 129-119 in overtime to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round series.

Fiddling with the mouth guard he began using after losing one of his front teeth in Game 1, Thomas had nine points in overtime, when the Celtics outscored Washington 15-5.

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