Warriors

Instant Replay: Warriors sweep Jazz, head back to Conference Finals

Instant Replay: Warriors sweep Jazz, head back to Conference Finals

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Warriors set a preseason goal of winning an NBA championship, and they’ve now won half the required postseason games to accomplish that.

With a wire-to-wire 121-95 victory over the Jazz Monday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Warriors swept the Jazz and advanced to the conference finals for the third consecutive season.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry pouring in a game-high 30 points to lead the way. Klay Thompson put in 21 points, Kevin Durant 18, Draymond Green 17 and JaVale McGee added 12 off the bench.

Green added 11 assists and 10 rebounds to his points total to post his third career playoff triple-double, all while simultaneously engaging in spirited dialogue with Jazz fans heckling him from the seats at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Warriors closed out Utah with a 28-16 advantage in the fourth quarter, holding the Jazz to 26.1-percent shooting over the final 12 minutes. They held Utah to 37.1 percent from the field for the game.

Forward Gordon Hayward led Utah scorers with 25 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
The Warriors thought it was particularly important to start fast in a closeout game, and Curry made sure they did, with 14 first-quarter points.

Curry’s line: 30 points (9-of-15 shooting from the field, 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, 8-of-8 from the line), seven assists, five rebounds and one block. He played 39 minutes and finished plus-33.

TURNING POINT:
The Warriors led all the way, taking leads of 12-3, 24-7 and 39-15 in the opening quarter.

Though the Jazz rallied several times, getting as close as five in the third quarter (68-63) before the Warriors put them away for good with a 16-4 run spanning the end of the third and the opening minutes of the fourth for a 100-83 lead with 6:40 remaining.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Jazz: G George Hill (L big toe sprain) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. G Alec Burks (L knee recovery) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors face the winner of the Houston-San Antonio series, which is tied at 2-2 through four games, in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 is scheduled for May 16, with a possible (but unlikely) move up to May 14.

 

Stephen Jackson, Andrew Wiggins get into war of words over 'Hallelujah' tweet

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USATSI

Stephen Jackson, Andrew Wiggins get into war of words over 'Hallelujah' tweet

The NBA is the best soap opera on the face of the planet.

What's our evidence? All-Star Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves a week before training camp starts and his current teammate Andrew Wiggins got into a social media war of words with former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson over a tweet sent by Wiggins' brother.

We can't make this stuff up.

In an Instagram video posted late Wednesday evening, Jackson questioned Wiggins' heart.

News website The Score re-posted the video and it drew comments from Jackson and Wiggins, who called Jackson a 'bum.'

That caused Jackson to respond in a second video in which is sent a message to Wiggins: 'Make sure you hands are straight when you see me, bruh."

Jackson even posted a screenshot of his career stats to prove to Wiggins that he isn't a bum.

Don't ever change, NBA. Don't ever change.

Damian Jones: Warriors training camp profile

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AP

Damian Jones: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

10TH IN A SERIES

Player: Damian Jones
Position: Center
Height/weight: 7-0, 240
College: Vanderbilt
Age: 23
Salary: $1.54M (Year 3 of three-year rookie contract worth $4M. Team has until Oct. 31 to pick up his fourth-year option worth $2.31M)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 69

2017-18 in review: For the second year in a row, Jones remained mostly in the development stage, spending far more time playing with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors than with Golden State. He was a massive presence in some games, barely a factor in others. The Golden State staff and front office debated his progress, but never declared him ready to take playing time from their trio of veteran big men. He made 15 NBA appearances, playing a total of 89 minutes.

Key stats (G-League): 45 games (45 starts), averaging 15.0 points (68.1 percent FG, 69.7 percent FT), 8.1 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.1 assists.

Season highs (G-League): Points (29), rebounds (16, twice), blocks (six), assists (six), minutes (40).

2018-19 outlook: After two seasons wondering what Jones can provide at the NBA level, this is the year the 7-footer will be given every chance to show he has something to offer. A superior athlete with a solid work ethic, Jones has been tasked with filling the role vacated by JaVale McGee. That means making an impact above the rim at both ends. If Jones can contribute off the bench and hold his own when making spot starts, the Warriors will have good reason to believe the 2016 first-round pick has a future in the league.