OAKLAND – It was only 12 days ago that the Warriors rolled into Utah and held off a late Jazz surge for a 106-99 victory in Salt Lake City.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he won’t bother watching tape of that game, though, because the Jazz that will come into Oracle Arena Tuesday night will be a different team. Small forward Gordon Hayward, Utah’s leading scorer, and shooting guard Rodney Hood will be available. Neither played on Dec. 8.
The Warriors (24-4) are fully healthy and have won four straight, holding opponents to an average of 99.2 points per game during that span.
Utah (18-10) has recovered from a 7-8 start to win 11 of their last 13.
Warriors by 12
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kevin Durant vs. Gordon Hayward -- Hayward has led Utah in scoring 16 times, more than twice as often as anyone else. Controlling him is essential, and Durant has the tools to do it. Durant’s defense has been stronger at the rim than on the ball, but he knows how much Hayward means to the Jazz and will accept the challenge. On the other end, Hayward hasn’t a prayer of slowing Durant.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Jazz: F Derrick Favors (knee/rest), G George Hill (L toe sprain) and G Alec Burks (L ankle rehab) are listed as out.
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Warriors: 8-2. Jazz: 8-2.
The Warriors have won the last six meetings and 12 of the last 13. They have won the last six games played at Oracle Arena.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) The 3-ball -- The Warriors are going to need their long-distance shot, as Jazz center Rudy Gobert may be the NBA’s most commanding defensive presence in the paint. The Frenchman is No. 1 in total blocked shots (76) and excels at discouraging drivers.
2) Contrast in styles -- The Warriors, pushing at every opportunity, play at the third-fastest pace in the league. The Jazz, very deliberate, play at the second slowest. The team that imposes its style gains a decided advantage.
3) Keep it moving -- Utah’s defense is terrific in most areas, but no team forces fewer turnovers. If the Warriors are on their game, cutting hard and running off screens and moving the ball with precision, there will be openings to exploit.