Three-mendous! Warriors Overwhelm Jazz, 125-105Golden State jumped out to a 19-7 lead in less than five minutes, withstood one Utah run and then buried the Jazz with a barrage of three pointers. The Warriors held a double figure lead for the entire second half, winning 125-105 and cutting Utah's lead to 2-1. The Warriors tied an NBA playoff record with 11 three pointers in the first half and finished the game with 15 three pointers in 32 attempts (.469). Utah shot a decent percentage (.474) and once again enjoyed a rebounding advantage (44-32) but the Jazz shot themselves in the foot with 25 turnovers that the Warriors converted into 29 points. Baron Davis had 32 points, nine assists, four rebounds, six steals and one monster dunk over Andrei Kirilenko that will probably be replayed two million times between now and Game Four. Jason Richardson scored 25 points and led the Warriors' long range attack by shooting 5-9 from beyond the arc. Carlos Boozer had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists but the Warriors' swarming, aggressive defense limited him to just 10 field goal attempts (he made eight of them). Deron Williams added 14 points and six assists but committed seven turnovers.
Everybody wants to look at the score or the highlights after a game like this but that is not how to figure out what is likely to happen the rest of the way in this series. There have been a few constants so far: Utah gets more rebounds and scores more points in the paint, while Golden State forces more turnovers and makes more three pointers. In order for Golden State to defeat Utah four times the Warriors have to make enough three pointers to compensate for their deficiencies in the paint. It is likely that in the upcoming games the Jazz can make some adjustments to limit their turnovers and do a better job getting out on the three point shooters; it is also likely that Golden State will not stay super hot behind the arc for several more games, particularly when the series shifts back to Utah. On the other hand, it is less likely that the Warriors can do much about their rebounding deficit and it will be difficult to continue to hold Boozer to just 10 field goal attempts. Golden State should be commended for an outstanding performance in Game Three and the Warriors may be able to do similarly well in Game Four but by the end of this series Utah's strength in the paint will carry the day.
posted by David Friedman @ 4:28 AM