In 96 minutes of basketball this series, the Utah Jazz have yet to hold the lead for even one second.
For the second straight game the Warriors started out hot, and while the Jazz played better — pushing the Warriors at points — it was still too much Kevin Durant (25 points) and Draymond Green (21) in the end that had the Warriors holding on for a 115-104 win.
Golden State now has a 2-0 series lead, with Game 3 in Utah on Saturday.
Golden State again was in control from the start, getting out to a 33-13 early lead, and while the Jazz made runs, the Warriors always answered right back with one of their own. The Warriors shot better from three in this game, 14-of-31, and had a more balanced attack — joining Durant and Green in double figures were Stephen Curry with 23, Klay Thompson with 14 and Andre Iguodala with 10. When the Warriors big four drop 83 points on 53 shots, it’s going to be a rough night for any opponent.
If you’re a Jazz fan, there are reasons for optimism.
For one, after that 33-13 start, the Jazz stayed even with — and for stretches outplayed — the Warriors.
“I think we’ve got to start the game better. Hopefully, we can do that at home,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.
Also, the Jazz got Gordon Hayward going to the tune of 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting — Utah is going to need his offense to have any chance in this series.
“I think he got more aggressive, his reads were better,” Snyder said of Hayward. “Sometimes you’re not going to be open for very long, and if you wait to be more open you don’t get that opportunity — especially against a Draymond Green, or an Iguodala, or Klay Thompson, guys that are such good defenders.”
The Jazz also forced 17 turnovers. That and Shelvin Mack pushing the ball — he started at the point with George Hill out with an injured big toe — helped get the Jazz some easy buckets. It would have helped if the Jazz had shot better than 14-of-26 in the restricted are, but Utah was doing more things right in Game 2, things they can build on at home in Game 3.
“That was a tough game for us,” Warriors interim coach Mike Brown said. “What it shows us is that Utah has some confidence and they’re going to be even more confident playing at home in front of their crowd.”
Expect a better Jazz team at home. Whether that can mean wins is another question — maybe they should get a lead in a game before we start going down that road.