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Utah Jazz vs Golden State Warriors: Playoff Game 3 Preview

It’s not do or die, but winning is better than losing

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are about to tip off against the Golden State Warriors. For some reason I thought this game was going to be on two hours later than it is. (#TimeZones) This is the only NBA game on tonight, so I guess that also pushes it somewhat closer to actual TV viewing time out East.

Anyway, the Warriors are up 2-0 in this series because they came out and hit hard in the first quarter. They have routinely pushed the Jazz out of striking range early, and nursed over 10 point leads by halftime. The Jazz have fought back, in a very small way .They have either won or tied the Warriors in the second, third, and fourth quarters of both games. But they haven’t had much to show for it.

Tonight isn’t vital, but it’s essential. Utah is going to have to do it again with George HIll (OUT, Toe), and will start Shelvin Mack (???). So that’s going to be fun. Draymond Green has looked great in this series, and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant haven’t had to do anything but just play well. Golden State hasn’t shown us their best yet.

But neither have the Utah Jazz. Utah needs to control the glass, slow down the pace, and actually make some shots. These two teams have a reason to be in the second round. It’s about time Utah showed that to the rest of the world, though.

Marquee Match-up: Gordon Hayward vs Kevin Durant

Hayward had 30 in Game 2, but needs to keep it up. He’s one of the main reasons why Utah can spook Golden State. He has to play well tonight.

X-Factor: The refs

It’s a home game and usually I’d say the crowd. But lots of GSW fans in attendance. It’s going to be up to the refs to either make life harder on the Jazz, or let them have a shot at shocking the world.

Prediction: Jazz loss, sadly.