OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 27 (Ticker) --
After failing to hold a
20-point third-quarter lead, the Utah Jazz turned to Matt Harpring
to save the day.
Harpring forced overtime with a rare 3-pointer and scored five
of his 28 points in the extra session as the Jazz recovered for
a 117-108 victory over the reeling Golden State Warriors.
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Winning for just the second time in six contests, Utah (27-29)
surpassed last season's victory total and moved within 2 1/2
games of first-place Denver in the Northwest Division.
"We're fighting not only for that eighth (playoff) spot, but
we're fighting to try to win the division so we need all these,"
said Utah guard Devin Brown, who scored five of his 10 points
in overtime. "Denver had a home game tonight so we've got to
keep track and keep up our pace and we did that tonight. We
were able to fight back and we ended up pulling out a great
Despite its comeback, Golden State missed 10 free throws in the
fourth quarter - including five in the last 39 seconds of
regulation - giving Utah a chance in the waning moments.
"I think they were missing free throws with under a minute to go
and any time you give an NBA team life, you've got to take
advantage of it and we were fortunate to do that tonight," Brown
Harpring obliged by making just his ninth 3-pointer of the
season with 1.2 seconds left to force overtime at 105-105.
"After I hit the shot, I think that lifted us in the overtime,"
Harpring said. "We had momentum now and we carried it through
and we jumped on them early in the overtime and didn't let them
The veteran forward opened the extra period with an 18-foot
running jumper and a pair of foul shots for a 109-105 edge.
Brown added a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer as the Jazz
outscored the Warriors, 12-3, in overtime.
"You've got to try to win the game - it's an important game,"
said Harpring, who also grabbed 11 rebounds. "We were up big
and then we were down and then we came back and it was a
After Harpring hit a jumper to give Utah a 70-52 lead with 4:01
left in the third quarter, Golden State closed the period with
an 18-6 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Jason Richardson at the
horn that cut the margin to 76-70.
The Warriors maintained the pressure with a 10-2 burst early in
the fourth quarter and took a 79-78 advantage with 9:52 to play
when Richardson made another basket from the arc. However, he
turned his left ankle on the play and briefly left the game.
"It was up to me," Richardson said. "I already knew the
situation. No matter how bad it was, I was going to go back
into the game. All I wanted to do was win the game."
Moments later, Richardson hobbled back on to the floor and made
a driving one-handed dunk, a jumper and 3-pointer - his 10th
consecutive basket - to put Golden State on top, 96-91, with
Mehmet Okur had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Carlos Boozer
added 11 and 19 for Utah, which made 9-of-13 from the arc and
held a 57-41 rebounding edge.
"We're such a young team, we're learning every game, every
night," Okur said. "At least we're trying. Some games work and
some games don't. In the second half, we lost concentration
out there. In overtime, we took what they gave us so we were
more active and made a big shot at the end of the game."
Richardson scored 26 of his 35 points after halftime and DerekFisher added 21 with 10 assists for Golden State (24-32), which
played without injured star point guard Baron Davis and suffered
its fourth straight loss.
"It's the most important game to me for our playoff race," said
Richardson, whose team fell four games out of the final playoff
spot in the Western Conference. "I wasn't even thinking about
being hurt. I'm just doing whatever I can to help this team win
games. I wish I could've done a little bit more. I wish I
could've hit a free throw at the end that would've sealed it."
"We battled back from 20 points down," Warriors coach Mike
Montgomery said. "The guys were hustling, working and playing
together. They had some energy. The game was right there. All
we had to do was finish it and we didn't finish it."