Capitals

Warriors beat Jazz 94-83

201212262153788288514-p2.jpeg

Warriors beat Jazz 94-83

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Stephen Curry scored 23 points, David Lee added 18 and the Golden State Warriors beat the Utah Jazz 94-83 on Wednesday night.

Curry set the tone by scoring the Warriors' first 11 points. He hit two 3-pointers and made three free throws after being fouled on another shot beyond the arc - all in less than a minute.

Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson had 15 points each for the Warriors, who dominated on the fast break and hit 9 of 18 3-point attempts.

Al Jefferson led Utah with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Paul Millsap added 14 points.

The Warriors led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and took a 75-58 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Warriors let a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead slip away Saturday in a 118-115 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

This time they kept piling it on.

Curry showed how important it was to keep the pressure on, getting hit hard on a fastbreak layup and giving an emphatic fist pump as the ball dropped through the net and bumped Golden State's lead to 82-62 with 9:10 left.

Game over.

The Jazz, meanwhile, looked like a team that struggled to go 2-2 on a recent road trip that saw them outscored by 20 against Indiana and by 16 against Miami.

They had to rally from 16 down Sunday to beat Orlando.

Curry added eight rebounds, seven assists and a steal.

Curry scored the Warriors' first 11 points as they took an 11-7 lead then went up 16-9 on Harrison Barnes' 3-pointer - Golden State's third of the quarter.

Jefferson kept Utah in the game early with eight points and four rebounds.

The game got nasty in the second quarter when Utah's Enes Kanter grabbed an offensive rebound and swung his elbows wide at Carl Landry. Derrick Favors went to defend teammate Kanter but ended up in a shoving match with Jack, a fellow Georgia Tech player.

Favors and Jack were assessed double technicals and Kanter his own technical, with Jack making the free throw for a 32-23 lead with 9:19 left in the half.

Consecutive baskets by Millsap and a 3-pointer by Gordon Hayward helped Utah get within five points but the Warriors hit two more 3s - by Jack and Thompson - to take a 49-37 halftime lead.

Neither team shot particularly well in the first half, the Jazz hitting 15 of 41 shots and the Warriors 15 of 39. But Golden State made 7 of 9 from 3-point range, including 3 of 4 by Curry.

The Jazz committed eight first-half turnovers and were outscored 16-0 on the break in the opening 24 minutes.

NOTES: Jazz PG Mo Williams missed his second straight game with a severely sprained right thumb. . The Jazz shot just 33.3 percent in the first quarter and 29 percent in the third. . Marvin Williams continued to struggle for the Jazz, hitting just 1 of 6 shots.. ... The loss was Utah's third at home this season.

Quick Links

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Penguins in Game 1

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Penguins in Game 1

If you had to boil down the playoff history of the Washinton Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins into one game, Game 1 certainly seemed to fit the bill. The Capitals had their chances, they got good performances from star players and all of it came to naught as they were once again foiled by the Penguins in a 3-2 loss.

Here's Washington let this game slip away.

Missed chances

The Caps were buzzing in the first period. Already up 1-0, Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin had an opportunity to add a second goal early on a 2-on-1. Orlov faked the shot then passed to Ovechkin who had a wide open net to shoot at…but he missed. Ovechkin doesn’t miss too many of those shots. Despite how good the Caps looked in the first period, they got only six pucks through to goalie Matt Murray and took only a 1-0 lead into the dressing room. In the second period, Devante Smith-Pelly was denied an empty net rebound by Murray (more on that later). We all knew the push was coming. We’ve seen this all play out before. Simply put, Washington did not convert on its opportunities when they had control of the game. A two-goal cushion was not enough to take the wind out of Pittsburgh's sails nor was it enough to survive the three-goal flurry that was to come.

A five-minute snowball in the third period

When the push finally came, it came fast. In a stretch that lasted for less than five minutes, Pittsburgh scored three times to turn a 2-0 Caps lead into a 3-2 deficit. Patrick Hornqvist deflected in a shot from Justin Schultz at 2:59, Sidney Crosby netted a pass from Jake Guentzel at 5:20 and Guentzel got a deflection goal of his own at 7:48. That is a span of 4:49. Pittsburgh’s momentum snowballed into three quick goals which carried them to the win. Braden Holtby was brilliant for 55:11, but those 4:49 were enough to doom the Caps.

Matt Murray

As good as Holtby was, Murray was better. Despite allowing a goal just 17 seconds in, he recovered very well in what was a 32-save performance. You can put some of this game on Washington’s inability to convert on its chances, but you also have to give credit to the Penguins’ netminder as well who came up with some big-time saves to keep his team in it. The biggest was in the second period when he extended the arm and blocked what looked like an easy goal for Smith-Pelly with the glove of his blocker. As hard as it was to beat Murray when the Caps were ahead, he was unbeatable when his team finally gave him a lead to work with.

RELATED LINKS:

Quick Links

The Redskins fill a need with Da'Ron Payne as their first-round pick

daron-payne-redskins-hero-usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

The Redskins fill a need with Da'Ron Payne as their first-round pick

The Redskins went into the draft with everyone talking about their need to upgrade their defensive line. And despite the presence of two other intriguing defenders on the board, they went with the big guy. 

Da’Ron Payne, a defensive lineman from Alabama, was the name that Roger Goodell read off of the card when the Redskins’ turn came up with the 13thoverall pick in the draft. 

Here is our analysis of Payne from an earlier NBC Sports Washington post about him:

Stuff the run in the middle of the line? Check. Get outside to stop stretch plays? Check. Get after the passer? Check. Yes, Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne checks all the boxes the Redskins are looking for on the D-line.

He can be the immovable object, taking on double and triple teams, and he also can chase down the quarterback. At 311 pounds he could be the Redskins’ nose tackle in base and move outside in nickel.

At 6-2, 311, the Redskins likely will use Payne in the middle of the line as their nose tackle in their base defense. Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will work with him to improve his pass rushing ability. 

Payne has been talked of as the Redskins pick since early in the draft process. As the draft unfolded, it turned out that there were two defenders, safety Derwin James and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who most analysts had rated considerably above Payne, still on the board. As it turns out, the Redskins apparently made the need pick and went with Payne. 

The Redskins draft an Alabama defensive lineman for the second straight year. Last year they took Crimson Tide defensive tackle Jonathan Allen with the 17th pick in the draft. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.