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Golden State Opens Conference Semifinals Tuesday Versus Utah

The NBA Western Conference best of seven semifinals series between the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors will tip off Game 1 from Oracle Arena in Oakland, California Tuesday night.

The current line has Golden State favored by 13 points with the over/under point total on 208.

Golden State swept the Portland Trail Blazers in Round 1 to reach the conference semifinals, while Utah needed a Game 7 win on the road over the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the second round.

Golden State won the four games against Portland during Round 1 by an average of 18 points per game. The sweep gave the Warriors much needed rest and time for injuries to heal.

Not only did Utah play three more games in their Round 1 series against the Clippers, but must turn around on one full day’s rest to face Golden State in Game 1.

Golden State will have its usual lineup of stellar offensive weapons led by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all of who averaged over 20 points per game during the regular season.

Utah will rely on the play of Gordon Hayward, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gobert, George Hill and Joe Ingles.

Golden State must remain healthy to win. Durant played Game 4 of the series with Portland after sitting out Games 2 and 3 when he strained his calf. However, his absence was not felt much thanks to the improved play of JaVale McGee and Patrick McCaw.

Both Matt Barnes and Shaun Livingston should return from their injuries to play. However, it is not known if coach Steve Kerr will return to the Warriors bench to coach or if Mike Brown will continue as the temporary head coach. Kerr is suffering from head and back pain.

The Jazz will need the continued good play of Hayward and Johnson, while Gobert needs to stay out of foul trouble and continue his strong defensive play.

Golden State’s defense is often overshadowed by its defense, but the Warrior’s “D” held Portland to 40% in Round 1.

Sunday’s win by Golden State marked the first playoff series victory since 2010.

Utah is 5-0 against the spread in its past 5 games on the road.

Golden State is 6-2-1 ATS in its past 9 games at home.

Prediction: Golden State is well rested and should rid itself of any rust early in the game. Lean here for the Warriors to cover the points.

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