Jazz's Favors could miss Game 1 vs. Warriors with sore back
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Golden State Warriors will be without their coach, but this time it is the opponent that could be missing a key player when the two-time defending Western Conference champions open the second round of the playoffs Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz.
The fifth-seeded Jazz flew directly to the San Francisco Bay Area after outlasting the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of their first-round series Sunday.
The Jazz got 17 points off the bench from power forward Derrick Favors in the 104-91 road win. However, the key reserve sat out practice Monday with a sore back and is questionable for the series opener.
Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday in Oakland.
While Favors could have used a couple of days off between series, his teammates appear happy to get an opportunity to carry over the momentum of the Game 7 success in Los Angeles.
"We prefer to keep playing," Jazz veteran Joe Johnson said. "We have a rhythm, and we're enjoying the moment."
Added Utah shooting guard Rodney Hood, "It's going to be a quick turnaround for us, but we're fresh. We have fresh legs."
Not as fresh as the Warriors' legs. The West's top seed has had seven days off since completing a 4-0 whitewashing of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
The Golden State goal in the Utah matchup: play at a fast pace.
"They're never in a rush," Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said. "They usually run the clock down looking for the best shot. And then, God forbid you give up an offensive rebound, and you've got to do it all over again. That's where they kind of beat you down mentally with their pace."
That was the case when the Jazz beat the Warriors 105-99 on April 10. It was the only time Golden State has been held below 100 points since March 11, and the result was the Warriors' lone loss in their past 20 games.
The Warriors won the two previous meetings this season, including 104-74 in the only matchup in Oakland.
Golden State didn't reach its season scoring average (a league-high 115.9) in those games, either.
When last seen, however, the Warriors were rolling offensively. Having gotten standout Kevin Durant up to speed after a knee injury, Golden State blitzed Portland for 119.5 points per game in the first-round sweep.
The Warriors ran up 119 and 128 points in the final two games of the series at Portland even with coach Steve Kerr absent due to continued complications resulting from back surgery.
Kerr also will miss Tuesday's opener against Utah, and there is no timetable for his return.
Golden State will be coached by Mike Brown.
"The way we look at it is: Plan on him not coming back," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "We're not going to sit here and say: 'If we can get to the conference finals, Steve may be back.' ... Nah. Mike Brown is our coach. We have the rest of our staff, and that's what we're rolling with."