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Kevin Durant leads way as Warriors improve to 9-1 without Steph

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors continue to rack up wins with Stephen Curry sidelined, and the Utah Jazz were the latest victims.

On Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, the defending NBA champs used a suffocating third-quarter performance to help improve to 9-1 with the two-time MVP out, rolling to a 126-101 victory.

"An ideal game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "Everybody really played well and chipped in. A lot of guys got going."

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. The 6-foot-11 forward has swatted multiple shots in a personal-best 10 consecutive games, the longest streak by a Warrior since a 10-game stretch by Adonal Foyle in 2005.

"It's cool that people are starting to recognize me for more than just a scorer," Durant said. "I've been trying to shake that rap for about since 2012. So when people start to notice what you do, I mean obviously, it's not all you do it for ... but when fans watching the games, and anybody watching the game, you want them to see what you do. I try to impact the game as much as I can on both ends of the floor."

Draymond Green, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, was asked if Durant is a legitimate candidate to win the honor at the end of this season.

"I think he is, if not the leading candidate," Green said. "I don't think it's really a race right now. The way he's been playing on the defensive side of the ball, he's been spectacular. It's a thing now, which is impressive because it always seemed like it was impossible to be a thing, but he's getting more and more attention for that and obviously he's helping our defense tremendously with the way he's playing on that side of the ball. So, if I had to vote, if I had a vote, I'll vote for him right now."

Green almost captured his second straight triple-double by going for 14 points, 8 boards and 8 assists. Klay Thompson chipped in 15 points.

Durant, Green and Thompson did not play in the final quarter. Six Warriors players scored in double digits. Utah (15-21), which shot 40 percent from the field, has lost 10 of its past 12 games.

Utah's sluggish, milk-the-clock pace took the crowd out of the game in the first two quarters. It was a half-court affair. Golden State (28-7) couldn't initiate a fast break.

Thompson scored his first point three minutes into the second quarter. Green was the only Warrior to hit a 3-pointer in the first half. The Warriors were limited to 48 first-half points, marking the third straight game in which they failed to reach 50 by halftime.

But in the third, the Warriors turned the game into a track meet by getting defensive stops and by allowing Durant to play point-forward. If Durant wasn't nailing triples, he was finding guys for backdoor layups and dunks. This was the exciting brand of basketball the fans had waited patiently for, and it didn't subside.

The Jazz paid too much attention to Durant and often fell asleep on the role players.

Patrick McCaw was a beneficiary of Durant receiving extra attention and scored seven of his season-high 18 points in the frame.

"Scoring is sort of a second thought for him and so we're trying to get him as aggressive as possible," Kerr said of McCaw. "He plays his best when he's really looking to score like he did tonight."

Golden State put up 42 points in the third, 20 more than Utah. It was the fifth time this season that the Warriors have outscored an opponent by 20 or more in the third, and it was their eighth time this season scoring 40 or more in the period.

The Jazz couldn't recover from the thrashing. The final 12 minutes of the game were just a formality.

With less than five minutes left, Omri Casspi rolled his right ankle and immediately hobbled to the locker room and did not return. He missed time earlier in the season after rolling both of his ankles at different points. The forward finished with 10 points.

Rodney Hood produced 20 points off the bench for Utah.

Curry could make his return as early as Friday at home against the Charlotte Hornets, his hometown team. He will be evaluated Friday morning. The Warriors are close to being whole once more.

"It's exciting to have Steph close," Kerr said, "but also to see all of our guys contributing and playing well."

Related Video
Warriors erupt in third quarter
Warriors erupt in third quarter
Coming into the second half with a 1-point lead, Golden State scores with a bevy of dunks en route to a 42-point third quarter. It's the fifth time this season the Warriors have outscored an opponent by 20 or more points in the third.

Bell finds McCaw for slam
Bell finds McCaw for slam
Andre Iguodala shoots an air ball but Jordan Bell recovers and sets up Patrick McCaw for a one-handed slam.

Durant drives for a two-handed slam
Durant drives for a two-handed slam
Kevin Durant caps off a 15-2 run for the Warriors and breaks through an open lane to smash a dunk.

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