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Game 3 Preview: Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz

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After two lackluster performances at Oracle Arena, the Utah Jazz are presumably looking forward to getting back on their home court in hopes of beginning their climb out of their 2-0 series deficit.

The Jazz will be hoping the Warriors are so bored due to the lack of nightlife that perhaps Utah will have the opportunity to steal a win from Golden State. But, in the event of the Warriors continue to be locked in, this series could wrap up in as quick as four games.

What Utah hasn’t been able to limit is the dreaded deadly stretches of perfect basketball that Golden State uses to stomp out their opponents in just a few minutes. This took place in the first quarter of Game 2, where the Warriors led by as many as 20 points. And between the five minute and one minute mark, Golden State unleashed a 14-2 run.

Despite getting prime efforts from their best players — Gordon Hayward scored 33 points and Rudy Gobert scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds — the Jazz still found themselves on the wrong end of the 115-104 final score. Golden State is proving through the first leg of this series with Utah the same thing they proved during their opening round series with the Portland Trail Blazers: they are devastatingly talented and a well-oiled machine on the basketball court.

Just by sheer ball movement, the Warriors will find the open man on offense more times than not. Through the first two games of the series, Golden State holds a 65-44 assist advantage over Utah. It’s hard to defend a team that is capable of whipping the ball around the perimeter and everyone who catches it is more than comfortable hitting their shot.

In order for the Jazz to have a shot at stealing Game 3 from the Warriors, they’ll need a bit more help from their supporting cast. Outside of Hayward and Gobert, Shelvin Mack was the lone man to score in double-figures, adding 14 points in the losing effort. Since the Warriors are essentially a Big Four, Utah hitching their wagon to the efforts of just Hayward and Gobert each night will ultimately result in a loss just about every time.

For the Warriors to keep up their run in the playoffs — a perfect 6-0 record, coupled with not trailing at any point in the last three games — they need to continue doing what they’ve been doing so far, precise ball movement and overall team defense. With guys like Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala posting two of the best defensive ratings in the series thus far, that shouldn’t be an overly difficult task for Golden State.

At this rate, Utah will need a bit of luck thrown in with an adjusted game plan to secure a win. Golden State is firing on all cylinders and look to as close as unbeatable as possible.

Who Wins Game 3?

Despite the change of location and the nighttime boredom that will consume the Warriors, they shouldn’t have much trouble disarming the Jazz en route to a Game 3 victory and a 3-0 series lead.

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About Dennis Chambers

Dennis Chambers

Dennis Chambers is an NBA writer in his first season with Basketball Insiders. Based out of Philadelphia he has previously covered NCAA basketball and high school recruiting.