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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors lost to the Utah Jazz, 105-99, in a game that meant little to the hosts beyond building habits.

The Warriors had nothing tangible to gain but perhaps benefited from testing their mettle against Rudy Gobert at the rim (he was as brilliant as his 17 points, 18 boards and two blocked shots suggests). It was also the game that saw Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry get their first minutes together since Feb. 28, when Durant suffered an MCL sprain against the Washington Wizards.

Prior to that injury, the Durant/Curry dynamic had been workable, but not exactly living up to preseason expectations. Many thought they’d operate within a devastating pick-and-roll, and that has yet to happen. Still, the Warriors are successful with both on the floor, and Monday night gave us glimpses of how the two work together.

The beginning seemed to presage some deference, as Curry passed up an open 3-pointer to assist Durant on a midrange shot. Durant then returned the favor as he passed out of the post for a Curry 3 at the top of circle.

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As the Warriors played lax defense, the fun stuff came later when Curry tossed an outlet to Durant that led to a Green dunk. The Warriors might have dominated this game had they finished more plays like that. Instead, they botched a few easy transition opportunities.

In the beginning, Curry didn’t need easy baskets to do his damage, as he was content to shell the Jazz from deep (28 points, six 3-pointers in 30 minutes of play). As the season winds to a close, Curry looks, subjectively, like last year’s MVP candidate — finally. That’s quite a positive sign for a Warriors team, obviously.

As for the Durant watch, he certainly looks to be in good condition on a couple of highlight plays. On one, Durant crossed over Dante Exum in transition and threw down a furious slam. On another, Durant zipped past Joe Ingles and dunked right in the face of Joel Bolomboy.

Durant looks athletic as ever, and the midrange jumper is accurate, but the 3-point shot isn’t quite there yet. Durant scored 16 points on 12 shots, but went 0-of-5 from deep. Despite more space than he had in Oklahoma City’s offense, Durant is shooting 28.4 percent from 3-point territory over his past 19 games dating back to Jan. 20.

That’s a luxury issue for a team that didn’t have to try on Monday because their 1-seed status is assured. The Warriors have a few kinks to work out, but theirs are smaller and less gnarled than what everyone else is going through.

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ST. PETERSBURG — Wearing street clothes, Didi Gregorius leaned against the batting cage to watch the Yankees hit before Wednesday’s series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field, saying goodbye to his teammates as they prepare to leave the Sunshine State.

“I really want to be here before May,” Gregorius said. “I don’t like sitting out. I’ve got to work my way back. I’m going based on the schedule, because I’m not the one making the rules.”
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Gregorius strained his right shoulder in a March 18 exhibition game while completing a double play for the Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic entry. He has thrown twice at 60 feet and will increase that distance to 90 feet on Thursday while swinging a bat one-handed.
“I don’t want to rush anything, because if something happens, it’s going to be even worse with a setback,” Gregorius said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he does not know how many Minor League games Gregorius will need before rejoining the active roster. The Yankees plan to have Gregorius remain behind at their player development complex in Tampa, Fla., for the next few weeks.
“I think the throwing program will go according to plan,” Girardi said. “I think the amount of games that he plays in is really how he feels, how he feels that he’s swinging, and everything is progressing. I think that timetable is probably a little bit more flexible than the throwing program.”
Fill-in shortstop Ronald Torreyes slugged the Yankees’ first homer of the season in Tuesday’s 5-0 win over the Rays, which Gregorius applauded. Gregorius said that it has not been difficult to observe the season’s first 18 innings from the sidelines.
“It’s not the first time. What can I say?” Gregorius said. “I’m still here. I still watch the games. It’s nothing different.”