OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 21 points, Draymond Green flirted with his second straight triple-double and the Golden State Warriors used another big third quarter to zoom past the Utah Jazz, 126-101 on Wednesday night.
The game was the first between the teams since the Warriors’ four-game playoff sweep in the Western Conference semifinals last spring, winning each game by double digits.
The Warriors, whose plus-198 scoring margin in the third quarter leads the NBA, used their favorite period to break open a game they led 48-47 at halftime.
A 9-0 run punctuated by Durant’s two dunks pushed the lead to 77-63, and the Warriors outscored the Jazz 22-6 over the final five minutes of the period for a 90-69 lead.
Their 42-22 margin in the quarter marked the fifth time this season the Warriors have outscored an opponent by at least 20 points in the third period.
Green finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in just three quarters, two nights after tying the franchise record with his 20th career triple-double. Patrick McCaw added 18 points for the Warriors, who won for the 13th time in 14 games.
Rodney Hood scored 26 for Utah.
Jazz: C Rudy Gobert (left PCL strain and bone bruise) missed his seventh straight game. “They’re different because Gobert’s out,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “That changes everything.” . G Raul Neto (concussion) was sidelined for the ninth straight game . Rookie Nazareth Mitrou-Long received nine stitches above his left eye Tuesday night after a late-game collision with the Nuggets’ Trey Lyles. He did not play Wednesday.
Warriors: Stephen Curry, who missed his 10th straight game with a right ankle sprain, will scrimmage 5-on-5 Thursday and is scheduled to be evaluated Friday, before the Warriors’ game against Charlotte. “He’s frustrated, but I think he sees a light at the end of the tunnel,” Kerr said. “He’s getting excited now and it won’t be long before he’s back.” . In the team’s first nine games without Curry, Durant averaged 29.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 3.1 blocked shots, with five games of more than 30 points. . Center Zaza Pachulia, who missed eight games with shoulder soreness, started for the first time since Dec. 6.
2-MINUTE DEBATE: The day after the NBA acknowledged four missed calls in the final two minutes of the Warriors-Cavaliers game on Christmas Day, Green called the practice of releasing the two-minute officiating reports “pointless.”
The league acknowledged that game officials missed three fouls on Durant and one on LeBron James. Green was critical of the reports, suggesting, “It makes no sense. Like, LeBron can’t go back and get the play over and get the two free throws. So who does it help?”
Kerr, declining to be drawn into the debate, said he appreciates the league’s transparency, but added, “I haven’t looked it at all year.”
Jazz: Host Cleveland on Saturday.
Warriors: Host Charlotte on Friday.
More AP NBA: <a href=”https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball” target=”—blank”>https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball</a>