Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 115-108 win against Jazz originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com
OAKLAND -- The Warriors soared early Tuesday night, tumbled through the middle of the game and then found their way again late.
That was enough to overtake the Utah Jazz, allowing the Warriors to leave Oracle Arena with a 115-108 victory.
Five Warriors scored in double figures. Kevin Durant put in a game-high 28 points, while Stephen Curry had 24, Klay Thompson 22, DeMarcus Cousins 15 and Andre Iguodala 13.
The Warriors (41-15) won the season series over Utah, winning two of three games.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Warriors' 16th win in 17 games:
Draymond takes over on D
For someone listed as questionable with knee soreness, Draymond Green was mighty hyperactive precisely when he needed to be.
With Utah holding a 91-84 lead in the fourth quarter and threatening to pull away, Green cranked up his defense and put the brakes on the Jazz.
Blowing up Utah's actions, blocking shots and forcing turnovers, Green was at the center of a 13-2 run, giving the Warriors a 97-93 lead and paving the way to victory.
He finished with six points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
It's conceivable that Green was motivated by the presence of Utah center Rudy Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Too much Boogie, not enough Durant
Kevin Durant took eight shots in the first half, 15 through three quarters. Given his efficiency, that's not enough. He was 9-of-15 through three.
Durant finished with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 12 points on 4-of-17 shooting from the field
The Warriors too often force-fed Cousins, who also was a bit too impetuous at times. He's still trying to do things that maybe he's not quite ready to do.
Durant averaged 35 points in the first two games against the Jazz because they have no defender than can even dream of containing him. Joe Ingles, no matter how hard he may try, is not that guy.
The Warriors at times seemed to forget that.
Opening with a vengeance
After back-to-back games with horrible starts, the Warriors fixed that issue against the Jazz. As usual, they did it with defense.
The Warriors forced three turnovers in the first 94 seconds and eight in the opening quarter. They held Utah to 5-of-19 shooting from the field, 0-of-4 from beyond the arc. The offensive rebounds and second-chance points that have been torturing Golden State lately? Two offensive boards, zero second-chance points.
That, along with their 11-of-22 shooting, accounted for a 25-14 advantage entering the second quarter.
It was clear from the opening tip that the Warriors understood they were playing a high-quality opponent. They played smart, they played hard and they played effectively. And they went back to that formula in the fourth quarter.