Instant Replay: Warriors control Game 1, run away from Jazz

Instant Replay: Warriors control Game 1, run away from Jazz


OAKLAND -- The eight-day layoff wasn’t so bad after all for the Warriors.

With all five starters scoring in double figures Tuesday night at Oracle Arena, they reeled off a 106-94 victory over Utah in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 22 points to lead the offense, followed by 17 apiece from Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Klay Thompson put in 15 points and Zaza Pachulia added 10.

Though the Warriors’ long-range shooting was off (7-of-29, 24.1 percent from deep), they defended at championship level, limiting the Jazz to 42.9-percent shooting from the field while taking command in the first half.

All 13 available Warriors entered the game, as they wound up with 20 points off 14 Utah turnovers while committing only seven themselves.

Center Rudy Gobert scored 13 points to lead the Jazz. All-Star forward Gordon Hayward was held to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-9 from deep.

Green was all over the place, at both ends, his energy driving the Warriors all evening.

Green’s line: 17 points (5-of-10 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 beyond the arc, 5-of-7 from the line), eight rebounds, six assists, two block and two steals. He played 34 minutes and finished plus-19.

After a Gordon Hayward jumper pulled the Jazz within two, 23-21, with 1:24 remaining in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with a 16-4 run, spanning the first and second quarters for a 39-25 lead with 9:22 left in the half.

The Warriors went up as much as 17 (58-41) in the first half.

Utah pulled within seven in the second half, but never got any closer.

Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R foot bone bruise) was listed as probable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. G Shaun Livingston (R finger sprain/hand contusion) was listed as questionable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Jazz: F Derrick Favors (back soreness) was listed as questionable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. G Alec Burks (L knee recovery) was listed as out.

Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night at Oracle Arena, 7:30 tipoff.


Andrew Bogut credits beer for improved condition in Warriors return


Andrew Bogut credits beer for improved condition in Warriors return

How many NBA centers can go coast-to-coast, dribble behind their back and convert a floater over another massive human, all while on the run?

After the Warriors' bounce-back victory over the Pistons on Sunday, it's safe to say there's at least one, and his name is Andrew Bogut.

That's the new and improved Andrew Bogut. The one that last played for the Warriors in 2015-16, well, let's just say he wasn't as agile back then.

So, what changed?

Beer, apparently.

"I don’t feel much different and I haven’t changed anything specific diet-wise," Bogut told The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. "Honestly, man, when I go back to Australia, I introduce a whole lot more beer to my diet. So maybe that worked. I have one or two beers with the family at night."

Now, before you get excited thinking you've found the new perfect diet just for you, Bogut has some sobering news for you:

It wasn't just the beer.

No, Bogut ascribed several reasons for his improved condition in his recent return to Golden State, many of which are related to the far less demanding playing schedule he had as a member of the Sydney Kings back in his native Australia, where the regular season consists of 28 games over a six-month stretch.

"It was much different,” Bogut said of the lighter schedule. “Sometimes we played once a week, sometimes twice, always on weekends. On the basketball side, everyone knows you get more rest. But I benefited from just being with my kids, knowing I’m going to be with them Monday through Thursday."

So, shorten the season and everyone will benefit, right?

[RELATED: Steph explains importance of regular-season finish to Dubs]

It's not that simple, as Bogut explained.

"Well, the quality of the games would definitely be higher,” Bogut told Strauss. “But, at the end of the day, your salaries would be much less. One of the harsh realities of why we’re some of the best paid in the world is because we play so many games. You’re going to get a lot of push back from players because their salaries are going to drop."

Alas, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

But your beer, on the other hand ... 

Steph Curry explains why final regular-season games are important to Warriors

Steph Curry explains why final regular-season games are important to Warriors

With nine games remaining in the regular season, Steph Curry and the Warriors are clinging to a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for first place in the Western Conference.

Equipped with one of the most talented starting lineups in NBA history and championship experience, one might expect the two-time defending champions to shrug at the importance of their final nine games, knowing they have the talent to beat any team on any floor once the playoffs start.

That, however, isn't entirely the case.

While head coach Steve Kerr has said he will prioritize the health of his team over the chase for the top seed in the West, Curry explained Sunday night why the final nine games are very important to the Warriors whether they capture the No. 1 seed or not.

"I think it goes hand in hand with how we want to finish the season," Curry said after the Warriors' win over the Pistons. "So, if we take care of our business more times than not in these last stretch of games then (the No. 1 seed) should take care of itself. And then, in doing that, you can judge, you know, how we've been playing defensively, you know, finding that offensive rhythm and balancing all the offensive talent we have out there on the floor, and building momentum. So, unlike last year where we were kind of depleted because of injuries and Houston was running away with that one seed, it's kind of a built-in goal to how we want to finish the year, so it's definitely important."

After suffering a blowout loss to the Mavericks on Saturday with Curry sitting out for rest, the Warriors responded Sunday, heeding Kerr's pregame message and bouncing back by beating the Pistons with a complete team effort.

Golden State's final stretch will begin Wednesday when Curry and Co. travel to the Grindhouse to face the Grizzlies.

[RELATED: Warriors have earned respect with 50-win season]

While the Warriors have been frustratingly inconsistent since the All-Star break, it appears they aren't waiting until the bright lights of the playoffs to turn on their laser-like focus.

That's bad news for the rest of the NBA.