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This is why Warriors wanted Kevin Durant, he takes over to get Warriors win, 3-0 series lead

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Utah checked a lot of boxes from their pregame scouting report. The tempo was slowed. Gordon Hayward was making plays and finished with 29 points. Rudy Gobert had a huge game with 21 points, 15 boards, and a couple blocks. The Jazz defended the arc well and the Warriors shot 9-of-30 from deep (30 percent). Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 7-of-29 shooting.

And it wasn’t enough.

Because the Warriors have Kevin Durant. This is why they went after him. On a night Curry and Thompson were cold, in one of the most hostile environments he had seen all season, Durant owned Utah on the pick-and-roll all game. That kept the Warriors in it most of the night allowed him to take over late in the fourth, finishing with 38 points.

Golden State went on a 17-5 run midway through the fourth and pulled away for a 102-91 win and now lead Utah 3-0. Game 4 is Monday in Utah.

The Warriors got a lot of quality offense having Gobert’s man set a screen for Durant with the ball, because the Utah defense calls for Gobert to play back off the ball.

“If whoever Gobert is guarding sets a solid screen, KD’s going to come off wide open,” Warriors coach Mike Brown said. “KD can shoot from 25 feet, 17 feet, or get to the rim it doesn’t matter. So that puts Gobert in a perdicerment, we’ve got a seven footer who is coming at him downhill.”

Gobert actually did a good job when Durant drove, he was just 4-of-10 shooting in the paint. However, his jumper was falling and Durant was 7-of-8 from the midrange and 4-of-8 from three.

Durant and Gobert event got into it a little after a play, one where Gobert pushed Durant out of the way going for a board and Durant came back with a shove. That got Durant a Flagrant 1.

In spite of Durant’s heroics, this was another game where the Jazz defense was good, but they couldn’t generate enough offense against the Warriors defense. Utah shot just 39 percent as a team, and if you take Hayward and Gobert out of the equation the rest of the Jazz shot 31.4 percent.

Still, that felt like it would be enough for a while.

After a slow start by both teams — Warriors started 4-of-10 and the Jazz 2-of-8 — the Warriors pulled away for a double-digit lead. Then the Jazz played their best quarter of the series. Utah took its first lead for the first time in the series 48-47 when Rodney Hood buried a wide-open corner three with 1:01 left in the second quarter. It didn’t last long, but they regained the lead before the half on a couple of Gobert free throws and led 50-49.

At the start of the second half Hayward knocked down a three, the Jazz got some stops and makes, but could never pull away. Mostly because Durant — Curry/Thompson/Draymond Green had combined for just 21 points on 30 shots through three quarters.

Still, the Warriors led by two. It was a bad omen. JaVale McGee gave the Warriors good minutes in the fourth as well, the 17-5 run came led by Durant, and it was all over.

This is exactly why the Warriors brought in Durant.

Watch Stephen Curry make fun of Klay Thompson’s 360 dunk fail in China

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By now we have all seen Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson brick that dunk attempt in China, right?

Here is the link to the video if you haven’t seen it.

Well, teammate Stephen Curry was also in China this week and decided to do a little mocking of Thompson’s missed dunk for the crowd.

It was all in good fun, and of course we all know about the Warriors team culture. Glad that Curry and Thompson can jab at each other like this.

Pistons sign Luis Montero to two-way contract

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons have signed Luis Montero to a two-way contract.

The team announced the deal Monday. The 6-foot-7 Montero played 49 games last season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League. He played in 12 NBA games with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16, averaging 1.2 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.1 assists.

NBA teams are allowed two two-way players on their roster at any time, in addition to the 15-man, regular-season roster.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LeBron James reportedly so frustrated with Kyrie Irving he is “tempted to beat his ass”

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Anyone else getting weary of the spin wars between the Kyrie Irving and LeBron James camps?

Irving thinks LeBron and his camp leaked the trade report and are trying to drag his good name through the mud. LeBron  — the man who led the way in teaching other players they should take control of their destiny and where they play — is angry that a player took control of his how destiny and is about to leave him high and dry. Right now both sides are trying to control the story — does Irving really envy Damian Lillard and John Wall‘s roles over his own, or is that spin? —  while fans come up with trade proposals. (No, a Kyrie for Carmelo Anthony trade is not happening.)

About the only thing that is clear is that this relationship is beyond repair. As evidence, we bring you the latest bit of spin, this from Stephen A. Smith’s “sources” as he spelled out on his radio show, (those sources are almost certainly are in the LeBron camp).

The full quote was: “If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”

I imagine if they were face-to-face right now it would look like every other NBA “fight” — they would push each other then make sure other guys jumped between them and held them apart so they could jaw but not actually have to throw a punch.

And yes, I know it’s Smith and we should take what he says with a full box of Morton’s Kosher Salt, but he illustrates a point:

Right now, the fight between Kyrie and LeBron is the sides trying to control the narrative.

No doubt LeBron is frustrated, he is in the legacy building part of his career and the Cavaliers were the consensus best team in the East with a shot at a ring next season. No Kyrie — almost no matter who Cleveland gets back in a trade — means the Cavs take a step back (while the Warriors and every other team in contention got better).  LeBron feels hurt and a little betrayed and is spinning that.

Irving is within his rights to ask out. There are certainly a variety of reasons he wants out, but at the top of the list is he wanted to control his own destiny before LeBron left next summer (probably) and Kyrie was left as the star on a team built to go around LeBron. Not that Cleveland did anything wrong, that is exactly the kind of team the Cavaliers should have built, LeBron will go down as an All-Time top 5 player, and this team brought Cleveland its first ring in 54 years. That doesn’t mean Irving can’t read the writing on the wall and want out.

For now, the drama will not stop between these two — nor will the spinning.

Timberwolves put out “0 for 30” video featuring Dave Chappelle missing a lot of jumpers

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are doing some work on their home arena, the Target Center, and it just so happens they had a special brick layer that got them started in 2013.

That extra helper was none other than comedian Dave Chappelle.

The team released a video on their social media platforms this week featuring Chappelle taking a bunch of jumpers on their floor in 2013. With a shot form somewhere between Shawn Marion and Stephen Curry, Chappelle wasn’t exactly a long range gunner.

Via Twitter:

I mean, it seems a little ridiculous to put up a video of the guy from four years ago hitting bricks and equating that to helping you remodel your home arena, but I feel like Chappelle can probably take it.

Either way, good work by the social team over in Minnesota.