The Golden State Warriors aren’t expected to be pushed much by the Utah Jazz in their Western Conference semifinals series and nothing that happened Tuesday night at Oracle Arena did much to change that.
The Warriors won the opener of the best-of-seven series, 106-94. The top-seeded Warriors hadn’t played since completing a sweep of their first-round series against Portland on April 24.
Golden State looked fresh from the start and Utah could not keep up as the Warriors led wire to wire. The Jazz finished their first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers with a Game 7 victory Sunday in Los Angeles before traveling to the Bay Area for Tuesday’s contest.
Guard Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and seven assists. Forward Draymond Green had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Kevin Durant finished with 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Utah is a heavy underdog and certainly cannot pull off an upset without more from its best players.
All-Star forward Gordon Hayward scored 12 points, but shot just 4 of 15. Center Rudy Gobert had 13 points and eight rebounds, but the Jazz needs him to be dominant to have a shot at knocking off the Warriors. Also, point guard George Hill had just seven points and three assists.
Rodney Hood had 12 points off the bench for Utah.
Game 2 is Thursday at Oracle Arena.