SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—C.J. Miles didn’t have much of a rookie season until it was just about over.
“I came out tonight trying to get open looks. I got a few, bent my knees and knocked them down,” said Miles, a 19-year-old shooting guard playing in his 23rd NBA game.
The Jazz finished the season 41-41, winning six of their final eight.
Miles was the youngest member of the Jazz this season and sent the oldest out a winner. Greg Ostertag, who plans on retiring this summer, ended his career by watching all but 3:36 of Wednesday’s game.
Ostertag finished with one rebound, one block and no points. He was the only Utah player who was on the roster during the Jazz’ Western Conference championship teams of 1997 and 1998.
“We got the win. Every season I’ve played (here) we haven’t had a losing record,” Ostertag said. “It’s only .500 but it’s still not a losing record.”
Ostertag played for the Jazz all but one of his 11 years, spending last season with the Sacramento Kings as Utah sputtered to a 26-56 finish.
Ostertag’s return in a summer trade didn’t have much to do with Utah’s improvement to 41-41, but he was glad to end his career where it started. He received a loud ovation from the Utah fans, who had been critical of his inconsistent play since the Jazz took him in the first round of the 1995 draft.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, but I believe in my heart that I’ve had more ups than downs,” Ostertag said. “I can’t complain. Eleven years is a long time.”
Monta Ellis scored 27 for Golden State and had a chance to put the game into overtime, but his 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
Derek Fisher scored 20, making a 3 with about 12 seconds left to pull Golden State back within 103-102 before Miles made both his free throws with 8.2 seconds left.
The Warriors finished 34-48, the same as a year ago when they ended the season by beating the Jazz in the final game of the season. Golden State’s playoff drought is at 12 years.
“This isn’t like college where you are building character and molding people,” coach Mike Montgomery said. “This is wins and losses and you better figure that out pretty quick.”
Golden State led by 10 late in the third quarter, but couldn’t sustain it.
Ostertag entered the game along with Miles—who is 14 years younger than the veteran center—early in the first quarter.
Miles had never played more than 23 minutes and his previous scoring high was nine. He played 33 minutes and finished 8-for-13 from the field.
“He’s probably saying, ‘Why haven’t I played all year?”’ Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “I was asking the same thing.”
Deron Williams, who was also finishing his rookie season, had 13 assists and 12 points for Utah, which missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
“It doesn’t take away the feeling of not making the playoffs, but it helps,” Williams said.
The Jazz closed the third quarter with a 14-4 run to tie the game at 77 entering the final period. Golden State led much of the fourth, but couldn’t stop Boozer or Miles at the end.
Boozer scored eight in a row for Utah, making a one-handed dunk that put the Jazz up 96-95. There was a commotion right after the play below the Jazz basket as security guards wrestled a fan to the tunnel.
The scuffle didn’t stop the game and Dunleavy made two free throws with 46 seconds left to put the Warriors back up by a point, but Okur got open outside the arc and hit his only 3-pointer of the night to give the lead back to Utah for good.
Andrei Kirilenko (back) missed his second straight game for Utah. … Okur played in all 82 games for the second straight season. … Jazz broadcaster Rod Hundley did not attend the game, two days after his wife, Florence, died Monday after a battle with cancer. … Golden State had won four straight.