Jazz 104, Warriors 100
With the shot clock about to expire and the Jazz holding a four-point lead, Utah’s rookie forward didn’t have a choice when Andrei Kirilenko dumped him the ball at the top of the key. The 26-foot shot was about 21 feet outside Millsap’s usual range, but it went in and clinched the Jazz’s 104-100 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
“I thought A.K. was going to shoot it,” Millsap said of his first career 3-pointer. “It got in my hands, it was like a hot potato, so I got it up and it went in.”
It was that kind of second half for the Jazz, who fell behind by 15 in the second quarter, but woke up defensively in the second half and ended their four-game losing streak.
Carlos Boozer scored 25 and tied his career high with 21 rebounds, pulling down 12 in the second half and becoming the first Utah player to finish with 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game since 2001.
“I just wanted to go get every one,” Boozer said. “It’s my responsibility to rebound and I focus on doing that.”
Utah was in danger of losing five in a row for the first time this season, especially with the way the Warriors played in the first half. Golden State made nine 3-pointers in the first two periods and had the Jazz scrambling early in the third quarter.
But the Warriors were just 13-for-39 in the second half while Utah made 20 of 31.
“We got tired and when we got tired we stopped concentrating,” said Baron Davis, who had 20 points and seven assists for Golden State. “It’s frustrating because we had control of the game and we were the aggressor.”
Al Harrington led Golden State with 27 points, hitting a meaningless 3-pointer in the final second after Utah had already clinched it.
The Jazz outrebounded the Warriors 44-30 and had 32 assists to 21, and Golden State’s reserves combined for a total of six points.
Golden State had won three in a row and six of seven to get back into the playoff race.
“This was a game where we just needed a little more focus, a little more determination to get over the hump,” Harrington said. “It’s very upsetting because we needed this game.”
Derek Fisher had 19 points and five assists against the Warriors, who traded him to Utah last summer, and Kirilenko added 12 points and three blocks for the Jazz.
Utah was coming off an 0-4 road trip and in danger of losing five straight for the first time this season.
Boozer hit a short jumper and put back a rebound to start the run and Williams added a layup, his first points of the game, during an 8-0 run for Utah.
After the Jazz got within 75-73, Davis gave the Warriors a slight cushion by scoring their last seven points of the period, giving Golden State an 82-76 lead. But the Jazz opened the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run, holding the Warriors without a field goal for the first 3:30. They tied it at 84 on Boozer’s 17-foot jumper
Davis put Golden State up 91-89 on a 3-pointer with 5:35 left, but that was the last time the Warriors led. Matt Harpring tied it at 91 with two free throws and followed with a jumper to start a 10-2 run that gave the Jazz the lead for good.
Utah led 101-97 as the shot clock was about to expire when Kirilenko underhanded the ball to Millsap at the top of the key. The rookie let it go for just the second time in his career from beyond the arc.
“He just came in and provided a lot of energy. He’s done it all season for us,” Williams said.
Notes:@ Donyell Marshall was the last Utah player with a 20-point, 20-rebound game, scoring 24 and pulling down 20 against Orlando in December 2001. … Utah’s Mehmet Okur, whose wife was about to give birth to their first child, left immediately after the game. … Stephen Jackson fouled out with 3:29 left, finishing with 16 points and five assists and taking a while to leave the court while protesting the final foul. … Boozer also had 21 rebounds in December 2003 when he was playing for Cleveland.