Warriors know it won't be easy finishing off Jazz Monday night
SALT LAKE CITY — Now that they’ve survived Utah’s best shot so far of the best-of-seven series to take a 3-0 lead, the Golden State Warriors hope to finish the Jazz off Monday night at Vivint Arena.
But they know it won’t be easy.
“This series is far from over,’” said Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who led his team with 38 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday night’s victory. “They don’t quit, that’s what I love about this team. They have a great coach, they play physically and they’re not going don’t give up. And they have a great crowd as well. We’ve got to figure out a way to get that fourth game.”
Acting coach Mike Brown, who is filling in for Steve Kerr while he tries to get healthy, isn’t taking the Jazz lightly.
“This team is really tough, especially at home,” said Brown on Sunday. “We had a phenomenal start and game all together in Portland (Game 4) and you’d love to duplicate that. But I don’t know if the Jazz are going to let us do that. They’re tough-minded, Quin’s a great coach, the crowd’s going to be into it. It’s going to be a tough contest for us to go out there tomorrow night out and duplicate what we did in Portland.”
UP IN THE AIR: Kerr’s status for the rest of the playoffs has been up in the air ever since he left after the second game of the Portland series because of headaches and other complications stemming from back surgery two years ago.
His status is more up in the air than ever after he underwent a procedure at Duke University on Friday that could keep him laid up for some time.
In a radio interview Friday, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said Kerr had his spine drained in an effort alleviate the health issues that have forced him to take a temporary leave of absence from the team.
“Hopefully the leak was solved,” Lacob said. “He had another procedure. It’s gone on for nearly two years. Very unusual, I believe.”
General manager Bob Myers spoke to the media about Kerr’s situation on Sunday.
“The procedure went well and now it’s a case of how it takes and when he might or might not be back,” Myers said. “I wish I could be more definitive. It’s hard for Steve. I don’t know, he doesn’t know. He’s dedicated to the pursuit of getting better. I wish I could say I had some kind of solution and I could say when he’ll be back. I just don’t know when.”
A CAKE FOR THAT: Center Zaza Pachulia finished with more points than Klay Thompson Saturday night with seven points to Thompson’s six. It was a rarity that caused some razzing from some of the Warriors.
“He’ll milk it just like he did the All-Star stuff,” said Brown referring to Pachulia nearly making the All-Star team because of a flood of votes from the Republic of Georgia.
“That’s a great stat, we’ll have to send him a cake or something,” said Steph Curry with a laugh when told about the numbers.
WHAT’S THE WORD: Curry and Klay Thompson got a kick out of a local reporter’s question after Saturday night’s game, asking about the “kerfuffle” Durant had with Rudy Gobert.
“That is a WORD right there,” Curry interjected.
“What did you say? Great job, bro,” said Durant, after which Curry added, “That is strong.”
When he finally answered the question, Durant said, “It’s just basketball, he pushed me, I pushed him and we move on,” Durant said.
NEXT QUESTION: Earlier Mike Brown had a good, long laugh when asked a facetious question at the end of one of his press conferences.
The question, in reference to LaVar Ball’s idea to sell basketball shoes with his son, Lonzo’s, name on them, was, “Would you buy your kids a pair of shoes for $500 from an unproven NBA player after college?”
After a hearty laugh, Brown said, “Uhhhh, no. Any other questions?”
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GAME NOTES: Saturday’s win was Golden State’s seventh straight in this postseason, the longest postseason streak in franchise history.
The Warriors didn’t have a single turnover in the second half Saturday, a stat Brown called “amazing.”
After averaging 29 assists during the first six games of the playoffs, the Warriors only had 17 assists in Saturday night’s game, two fewer than the Jazz.
The Warriors have now won 22 of their last 23 games, with their only loss coming to the Jazz, 105-99 on April 10 in Oakland.
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Published at Mon, 08 May 2017 02:00:00 +0000