Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/Getty Images
The Roundup—Jazz 91, Warriors 102
That one hurts.
The Utah Jazz needed to play a perfect game—and they nearly did, taking a nine-point lead in the third quarter before the Golden State Warriors caught fire late and handed the Jazz a 102-91 loss in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday night.
The Jazz now trail 0-3 in the best-of-seven series, with Game 4 set for Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant (who've combined to win the past three NBA MVP awards) scored Golden State's final 22 points. The duo combined to shoot 7-for-9 from the field (including 3-for-4 from 3-point range) and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 29 points, while Rudy Gobert logged another double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds (plus four assists and two blocks).
Shelvin Mack (11 points), Joe Ingles (10 points) and Boris Diaw (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Jazz. George Hill (toe) missed his second consecutive game.
Durant exploded for a game-high 38 points, while Curry added 23 points (on 6-for-20 shooting). Draymond Green (nine points) and Klay Thompson (seven points) struggled in the win.
Hayward once again carried the offensive load for the Jazz, scoring from all over the court en route to 29 points. He made threes in transition and a handful of contested jumpers, and he was aggressive in getting to the hoop (he shot 13-for-14 from the free-throw line). He also led the team with six assists. It was the sixth time this offseason that Hayward has scored at least 26 points.
After getting destroyed in the first quarter in the first two games, the Jazz kept it tight early on. A pull-up jumper by Hayward and alley-oop jam by Gobert kick-started Utah's offense and tied the game at 10-10. The Warriors shot 3-for-10 from the field to start the game.
After falling behind by 11 points early in the second quarter, the Jazz closed that half on a 30-18 run to take a one-point lead into the break. Mack made three free throws. Diaw got into the lane and bounced in a runner. Gobert took a pass from Hayward and threw down a transition dunk. Ingles buried a corner three, and then Gobert dished to Diaw twice—once for a layup and then for a dunk. Another dunk by Gobert and a bucket by Joe Johnson pulled the Jazz within two, and then a corner three by Rodney Hood gave Utah its first lead of the series with one minute left in the first half.
Utah kept things rolling in the third quarter with a 12-4 run to open the second half. Hayward out-muscled Green and hit nothing but net on a fadeaway jumper. Ingles put in a layup. Hayward pulled up and knocked down two straight 3-pointers. And Diaw found Gobert for a alley-oop jam to push Utah's lead to nine at 62-53.
Golden State, though, responded with a 14-4 run—thanks to two buckets, including a transition three, by Curry—to take back the lead and set up a down-to-the-wire finish. Johnson missed a wide-open corner three with 4:20 left that would have tied the game, and Andre Iguodala immediately drained a jumper on the other end to push Golden State's lead to five. Hayward drew a foul on a 3-point attempt and drilled all three free throws to pull Utah back within two. Curry and Durant, though, took over with back-to-back threes to give Golden State a quick eight-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game.
The Jazz held a 50-49 lead at halftime, which marked the first time since March 11 (against the San Antonio Spurs) that Golden State has failed to score at least 50 points in the first half of a game.
Curry (3-for-11), Thompson (0-for-4) and Green (0-for-3) combined to shoot only 16.7 percent from 3-point range.
Utah's reserves managed only 10 points as Johnson (seven points on 3-for-12 shooting) and Hood (three points on 1-for-8 shooting) struggled from the field.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"Tonight we played like we were capable of playing—with energy and toughness. ... Sometimes you do everything you can and you still get beat by a team that makes great plays and [has] great players."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
The Jazz out-assisted the Warriors 19-17. Golden State averaged 32.5 assists in the first two games ... Green picked up a technical foul in the second quarter. Durant picked up both a flagrant and a technical foul on the same play in the fourth (for shoving and then jawing with Gobert). ... Diaw re-entered the starting lineup in place of Johnson, who had started the first two game of the series. ... The Warriors did not commit a turnover in the second half.
The Jazz will stay at home to take on the Warriors for Game 4 on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on TNT.