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Utah Desperate to Win Game 2 to Narrow Golden State Lead

On Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz will tip off Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference semifinals best of seven series from Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The current line has Golden State favored by 5.5 points with the over/under point total on 208. Golden State leads the series 2-0.

Golden State easily won Games 1 and 2 at home to open the series versus Utah. The Warriors won by double digits margins in both of the first two games. In both games, Utah fell behind early and could never recover.

Utah coach Quin Snyder said the key to his team’s success will be starting the game much better than in the first two games.

However, Snyder knows what is important is being ahead when the game ends, but starting strong means you are not working uphill from the start.

The hot start by Golden State in Game 2 came in part from the long range accuracy of Draymond Green. The Warriors forward hit four 3-point shots during the first quarter and finished the game with 21 after injuring his knee during the fourth quarter.

Green found himself free early in Game 2 due to Utah trying to overplay Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant on the Warriors perimeter. Green was not worried about his injured knee following Game 2 and said he would be fine for Saturday’s Game 3.

Utah forward Gordon Hayward ended Game 2 with 33 points to lead all scorers after scoring just 12 during Game 1. Hayward is looking forward to playing in front of Utah fans and absorbing the energy they give he and his teammates.

Utah point guard George Hill did not play in Game 2 due to an injured toe and is listed as day-to-day.

In Game 2, Golden State became the first NBA team with three players scoring 20 points or more and 5 or more assists – Green, Durant and Curry – since San Antonio in 2008.

Utah guard Rodney Hood has missed all of his 9 shots from 3-point territory during this series.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr will likely miss the entire series due to back surgery complications.

Golden State is 7-0 ATS in its past 7 games on the road.

Utah is 5-1 ATS in its past 6 games played overall.

Prediction: The Jazz love their home court and will put a scare into Golden State tonight, lean here toward Utah.

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