SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Golden State’s Derek Fisher said he was smiling before the ball hit the net.
He had plenty of reason to grin after the Warriors rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Utah Jazz 94-90 Friday night on Fisher’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining.
“I start smiling when the ball is on the way,” Fisher said. “I enjoy those moments.”
Golden State won despite being heavily outrebounded and struggling on 3-pointers and free throws through the first three quarters. But by the fourth, the Warriors started hitting the shots and the Jazz could never quite close a game they were leading most of the way.
“It wasn’t that we turned it on. We just kept fighting. We didn’t pay attention to the score,” said Baron Davis, who atoned for a poor shooting night with 10 assists.
The Warriors, who just broke a 19-game losing streak at Utah last season, have won two straight on the Jazz’s home court. And although Friday’s win was a little chaotic, Golden State still hasn’t lost back-to-back games yet this season.
“We made probably more good plays in the last four minutes than we made in the rest of the game,” Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. “It’s one of those games that you feel like you stole, but we’ll take it.”
Mike Dunleavy drew a flagrant foul to start a 7-0 rally that tied the game at 86, then Golden State won it and sealed it from two places the Warriors had struggled from all night. Golden State was just 9-for-28 from 3-point range and made just 23 of 38 free throws.
But in the fourth quarter, the Warriors made 6 of 9 3-pointers and was 8-of-10 from the line.
“I don’t think we panicked. I think they just made some huge 3-point shots,” Utah’s Matt Harpring said. “We should have won that game. It was our game.”
Williams scored a career-high 24 points and had seven assists for Utah. Harpring scored 21 and Mehmet Okur had 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who were trying for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
“We got off to a decent start, but then as soon as things started to change we went back to ‘Oh, this is going to work out,”’ Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “We got cool, didn’t execute and then we gave them the rhythm that they wanted.”
Dunleavy and Fisher both finished with 11 points for the Warriors, who won despite being outrebounded 52-41 and trailing most of the game.
Williams drove the lane for a one-handed dunk over Ike Diogu, who stumbled back into the padding under the basket as Utah fans roared with the Jazz holding an 80-71 lead.
But the Warriors kept the lead within reach and made a final push in the last 1:35.
“You could tell by the crowd reaction it was getting close and it was getting tight,” Dunleavy said.
Dunleavy drew a flagrant foul on Harpring with 1:35 remaining and made both free throws to cut it to 86-81. The Warriors kept the ball because of the flagrant foul and Davis drove for a two-handed dunk to get Golden State within three.
Utah’s Milt Palacio was called for traveling and Dunleavy tied it at 86 with a 3-pointer.
Utah led 90-89 with 31 seconds left when Davis missed two free throws, but Calbert Cheaney got the rebound and the Warriors passed the ball around to Fisher, who made a 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 92-90.
The Jazz called time and Williams had a good look on his 3-pointer attempt, but the ball clanged high off the rim and Richardson pulled down the rebound.
Warriors were just 1-of-10 on 3-pointers in the first half. … Golden State (8-6) also avoided falling back to .500 for the first time since being 1-1. … Utah’s Greg Ostertag pulled down his 4,000th career rebound in the third quarter. … Diogu was playing in his second NBA game and has scored 11 points in both.