Saturday , May , 12 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Baron Davis & Golden State Warriors Destroy Utah Jazz In Game Three

Golden State hit 11 first-half three-pointers to win game three of their playoff series against Utah … The Jazz still lead the series 2-1 … Baron Davis led the way, dropping 32 and nine … Golden State pushed the tempo and got big games from J-Rich and Al Harrington, … Get your recap and analysis right here …

What Happened: and the dominated game three of their Western Conference playoff series, beating the Utah Jazz 125-105 on Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Davis led the way, tallying 32 points, nine assists, and six steals for the Warriors. With the win, Golden State cut Utah’s lead to 2-1 in the best of seven series.

Golden State tied an NBA record by draining 11 three-pointers in the first half. went 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and finished with 25 points. , back in the starting line-up for game three, connected on 4-of-7 three-point attempts and ended up with 15 points. scored eight points, going 2-for-4 from downtown, while Mickael Pietrus went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

But the night belonged to Davis. The forward made 2-of-6 three-point attempts and nailed many spectacular drives to the basket. In the fourth quarter alone, Davis sunk two improbable lay-ups and threw down a ridiculous poster-dunk on .
r scored a team-high 19 points for Utah and grabbed 11 rebounds. Mehmet Okur and Kirilenko each scored 15 points, while hit for 14 points and six assists.

Game three is scheduled for Sunday in Oakland.

Reaction of Golden State coach Don Nelson
on the play of Baron Davis:
“He was pretty sensational, wasn’t he?"I’ve seen it a time or two here or there … but the plays he made, the dominance he created on both ends of the floor — just tons of stuff you wish everybody would be able to do, but not many can." (ESPN)

Reaction of Golden State guard Jason Richardson
on Davis fourth quarter dunk on Kirilenko:
"It was like he put his whole body in the rim." (ESPN)

Reaction of Utah coach Jerry Sloan
on Golden State’s first-half three-pointing shooting:
 “You get into a groove, and they certainly were in one. We couldn’t shoot the ball quick enough, which is certainly to our disadvantage.” (CNNSI)

My Take: After Friday’s win, the Golden State Warriors are very much alive, down just one game in the series. Here are some thoughts from Friday’s game:

1) I love Don Nelson’s decision to put Al Harrington back in the starting line-up in place of Matt Barnes. Barnes has been sensational, but starting Harrington let Utah’s posts know game three would be different; they would no longer be able to impose their will on Golden State’s smaller line-up. Harrington only collected three rebounds, but his size freed-up space for teammate Andris Biedrins, who grabbed a game-high 13 boards for Golden State.

2) The Warriors, when hitting three-point shots, are very difficult to beat. In the first-half of game three, they tied an NBA record by knocking down 11 three-pointers. This kind of outside shooting puts enormous pressure on the other team. Utah looked totally out of sync when Golden State started hitting transition three-point shots.

3) Baron Davis outplayed Deron Williams in the all-important point guard battle. B-Diddy was phenomenal, posting impressive numbers. Most importantly, his drives and inspired play put pressure on Utah’s defense. Right now, Davis is doing an outstanding job leading teammates and playing like the franchise star he always should have been.

4) The Warriors have the best fans in the NBA. They’re loud. They’re enthusiastic. And they stand for most of the game. The ‘We Believe’ cult has supported their team through years of thick-and-thin, so they deserve this recent run of success.

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