Utah 115, Golden State 101

OAKLAND, Calif., May 13 (AP) -- The Utah Jazz had seen enough of the Golden State Warriors' beautiful game.

Carlos Boozer and the Jazz shoved and scraped to slow down the Warriors - and then Derek Fisher put a sweet finish on a victory that put Utah on the brink of the Western Conference finals.

Boozer had 34 points and 12 rebounds as the Jazz handed the eighth-seeded Warriors their first home loss of the postseason, 115-101 Sunday night to put Utah up 3-1 in their second-round playoff series.

Fisher scored 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the surprising Jazz, who can clinch their first trip to the conference finals since 1998 with a victory at home in Game 5 Tuesday night.

"That was a big step in the growth process for us as a team,'' said Fisher, who missed the series opener and dramatically returned during Game 2 after tending to his daughter's serious health problem. "I haven't practiced much lately, so it felt good to be able to step up for my teammates.''

Deron Williams had 20 points and 13 assists as the Jazz finally solved the riddle of Oracle Arena, where the underdog Warriors won their first four playoff home games with the uptempo offense and fan support that dazzled the nation.

But with a Jerry Sloan game plan that hearkened back to those bruising days when Karl Malone and John Stockton ruled the West, Utah simply bullied past Golden State.

"We're doing better staying with what they're trying to take away from us,'' Sloan said. "Our team hasn't had to make these adjustments, but our guys are getting better and better.''

Al Harrington scored 24 points before fouling out, but Baron Davis had just 15 points and seven assists. The Warriors were a dissonant mess through most of their first home loss in 10 games dating to the regular season - yet they still held a lead in the final minutes before Utah's superior poise won it again.

"We just didn't have enough juice,'' Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "They did everything they were supposed to do to beat us, and they took it to us. They came in and played really well, and we weren't that good.''

Fisher's 3-pointer put Utah ahead to stay with 5:57 to play, and the veteran guard - traded by Golden State to the Jazz last summer - hit a long jumper and another 3-pointer in the final minutes to silence the Oakland din.

"This is an environment a lot of our guys hadn't been in before, and I'm glad I was able to use some of my experience to help us tonight,'' Fisher said.

Fisher dropped to the floor in a heap after a scary collision with Davis with 1:37 left, but eventually got up to finish the game.

Jason Richardson then was ejected for clotheslining Mehmet Okur on a drive to the basket with 37 seconds left, prompting angry shouts by both players. Okur added one last dig at the Warriors, hitting a 3-pointer when Utah had a 13-point lead and 10 seconds to play.

Utah finished the game on a 22-10 run, including a 10-2 push in less than 2 minutes after Richardson's 3-pointer with 3:47 left pulled Golden State to 93-91.

"I don't think we had the same bounce that we had the other night,'' Harrington said. "It wasn't for lack of effort, but we never really hit that gear where we separated from the other team. We've just got to find a way to play at the speed we want to play at.''

Golden State stayed close for all four quarters despite awful shot selection and little inside game, but not even its mass of yellow-clad fans helped against Utah's defense. The Jazz forced bad shots by the Warriors' all-too-willing shooters, then got inside for consistent points on the other end.

Sleepy Floyd had his 51-point playoff game for the Warriors against the Los Angeles Lakers on Mother's Day 20 years ago, but Davis had no heroics left in his outstanding postseason. The Warriors' leader went 6-for-16, including 2-of-8 on 3-pointers.

Poor free-throw shooting - the Warriors' undoing in Game 2 - also hurt them again in Game 4. Golden State was 21-of-34 from the line, including back-to-back misses by Davis with 4:39 to play.

Stephen Jackson scored 24 points but committed six turnovers and took a spate of foolish shots, while Richardson went nearly 42 minutes between baskets on the way to seven points.

Utah won the series' first two games with superior late-game execution, holding on after Golden State twice rallied from big deficits. Game 3 wasn't much of a contest, with the Warriors hitting 15 3-pointers and jumping to a 30-point lead in front of their delirious fans.

The Jazz limited Davis to 2-of-6 shooting in the first half and held Golden State without a field goal in the final 7:18 before halftime, yet still only led by one point.

Notes: Actress Jessica Alba and boyfriend Cash Warren were back at courtside in Oakland, wearing yellow "We Believe'' T-shirts. Warren and Davis played high-school basketball together in Santa Monica. ... Utah G Dee Brown, who sprained his neck in Game 2, sat out again.


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