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Jazz 97, Warriors 90

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. - Mo Williams capped a 25-point night with a straightaway 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds remaining, doubling a tenuous lead and lifting the Utah Jazz to a 97-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday in a big game for each team's playoff hopes.

The Jazz (41-37), which pressured the Warriors into three critical misses in the final minute with the game on the line, moved a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in their duel for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers lost earlier in the day to the rival L.A. Clippers, 109-95.

The Warriors (44-33), meanwhile, had a chance to clinch a playoff berth - their first since 2007 - with a win, but failed to do so and fell back within one game of Houston (43-34) in their battle for the sixth spot in the West.

Williams' critical 3 was his third of the contest and capped his game-high performance for the Jazz, which never trailed in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 11 points with 4:20 to go.

But Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Warriors to get them within 91-86 with still 3:28 remaining. And when David Lee dropped in a layup off a Curry assist, the Warriors had closed to 93-90 with 1:21 to go.

Williams missed a jumper and Al Jefferson couldn't convert a follow shot, returning possession to the Warriors with a chance to tie as the clock went under 1:00.

But Derrick Favor blocked a Draymond Green layup, and Jarrett Jack, forced to fire up a desperation 3 with the shot clock about the expire, couldn't connect from 24 feet, setting up Williams' 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left.

Curry misfired on another 3 and Paul Millsap completed the scoring by making one of two free throws with 4.9 seconds left.

Jefferson had a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Jazz, which finishes the regular season with two home games (Oklahoma City and Minnesota) and then two on the road (Minnesota and Memphis). Gordon Hayward added 13 points, Favors 12 and Millsap 11 for Utah.

Favors also found time to get 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Curry (22), Lee (21) and Thompson (20) all scored 20 or more for the Warriors, who have three home games remaining (Minnesota, Oklahoma City and San Antonio) and two on the road (L.A. Lakers and Portland). Lee also had 13 rebounds.

The Warriors led by as many as nine in the second quarter before the Jazz finished the half on a 27-10 run. Williams contributed nine points to the burst and Favors eight.

NOTES: Sunday's third meeting between the Jazz and Warriors was totally unlike the first two matchups in its lead changes. The Warriors trailed only once en route to a 94-83 home win over Utah on Dec. 26, and the Jazz never trailed when it beat Golden State 115-101 in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19. Sunday, there were four lead changes in the first quarter alone. ... Every 3-pointer hit by the Jazz the rest of the season will extend a club record. The Jazz took the court having made 475 3s in its first 77 games. The previous record: 439 in 2009-10. ... The Warriors' Jarrett Jack, who doesn't start, entered the game ranked third in the NBA in fourth-quarter assists with 126. ... The Warriors dipped into the NBA Developmental League for some late-season help, snatching point guard Scott Machado from the Santa Cruz Warriors. Machado, 22, led the nation in assists as a senior at Iona in 2012.
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