Notebook: Jazz 97, Warriors 90

Posted Apr 8, 2013 12:11 AM

By Steve R. Waterhouse, for

THE FACTS: In their pursuit for a berth into the Western Conference playoffs, the Utah Jazz took advantage of a major opportunity presented to them Sunday evening. Having moved into a tie before their game against the Golden State Warriors because of a Los Angeles Lakers loss, the Jazz went on to post a 97-90 win over the Warriors at Oracle Arena Sunday.

The victory gives the Jazz (41-37) a one-half game lead for the No. 8 seed. Utah now has four games left -- two at home -- and the Lakers have five left. But, more importantly, the Jazz now control their own fate. They also hold a tiebreaker with the Lakers thanks to a 2-1 mark during the season series.

Mo Williams sealed the game with a 3-pointer that gave the Jazz a 96-90 lead with 14.9 seconds left. Williams led all scorers with 25 points on a season-high 11 made field goals. Al Jefferson added 19 points and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors (44-33), who had a chance to clinch their first playoff berth since 2007, got 22 points from Stephen Curry, but he was held to just five in the second half. David Lee scored 21 points and Klay Thompson added 20. Lee also grabbed 13 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "As soon as we got to the arena, we were watching the game between the Lakers and the Clippers and we saw the Lakers were losing. Immediately, I saw the expression on everyone's face change. We all knew that if they lost and if we won, that would put us up on them. Everyone was ecstatic and you could tell by everyone's demeanor when we took that court that it was time to take care of business."

-- Jazz guard Randy Foye

THE STAT: In what appears to be a nice battle for this year's Sixth Man of the Year award, the Jazz's Derrick Favors continues to state his case. He notched his ninth double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 30 minutes.

TURNING POINT: After the Warriors took a 38-29 lead in the second quarter, the Jazz responded with a 27-10 run to take a 56-48 halftime lead. The Jazz held that lead for the game's final 28:27. Each time the Warriors closed to gap to within striking distance, the Jazz had an answer.

QUOTABLE II: "Well, you know, I can't say enough about this group of guys. This was all about them and them wanting it. ... Although we made some mistakes in the game, everybody laid everything they had in them out there on the floor tonight and as a result we were able to get a good win."

-- Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin

HOT: Curry started out on fire, hitting six of his first eight shots that included a 3-for-3 mark on 3-pointers for 17 in the first half.

GOOD MOVE: After Curry struck for 17 points in the first half and hit a trio of 3-pointers, he was held to just five points and one 3-pointer in the second half because of stout defense by Williams and Favors.

NOTABLE: The Warriors quest for their second playoff appearance in 19 years is put on hold. They still hold a slim one-game lead over the Houston Rockets for the No. 6 spot and the magic number to secure the first playoff berth since 2007 is two. ... This was the 29th consecutive sellout for the Warriors, who have sold out 31 of 38. ... Lee recorded his 30th 20-point, 10-reobund game and 52nd double-double. ... This was Thompson's 26th 20-point game of the season. ... The Jazz have won seven of their last eight on the heels of losing 12 of 15. ... The Jazz have a 7-3 record when Williams scores 20-plus points. ... Jefferson's double-double was his 34th of the season.

UP NEXT: For the Warriors, Tuesday vs. Timberwolves, Thursday vs. Thunder, Friday @ Lakers. For the Jazz, Tuesday vs. Thunder, Friday vs. Timberwolves, Monday, April 15, @ Timberwolves.