Jazz try to take 2-0 lead over Golden State
(Sports Network) – The fourth-seeded Utah Jazz try to take a 2-0 lead over
the No. 8 Golden State Warriors, as the teams meet tonight at EnergySolutions
Arena in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series.
In the series opener, Carlos Boozer’s 20th rebound of the game and subsequent
putback with 17 seconds left proved to be the difference as Utah pushed past
Golden State, 116-112, on Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Boozer scored 17 points in the victory, while Deron Williams finished with 31
points, five rebounds and eight assists for Utah, which is 5-3 in the
postseason. Mehmet Okur scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while
Matt Harpring netted 21 for the Jazz.
Baron Davis led Golden State with 24 points and seven assists, while Jason
Richardson and Al Harrington contributed 21 points apiece for the Warriors,
who are 4-3 in the playoffs. Matt Barnes notched a double-double with 20
points and 10 boards and Stephen Jackson finished with 16 points in defeat.
Veteran guard Derek Fisher did not play in Game 1 for Utah because of personal
reasons. He is questionable for tonight’s contest.
Game 3 of this series is scheduled for Friday at ORACLE Arena.
The Warriors have lost two straight Game 2s in the postseason, while Utah has
also dropped two in a row.
This is the third time that these clubs have met in the postseason. Golden
State knocked off the Jazz in five games, 3-2, during the first round of the
1987 playoffs and in three, 3-0, in the opening round of the 1989 postseason.
Utah defeated the fifth-seeded Houston Rockets in seven games in the first
round. The Jazz won Game 7, 103-99, at the Toyota Center to advance to the
semis for the first time since 2000.
The Jazz ended a three-year playoff drought by qualifying for this year’s
Utah’s last series win in the semis was in 1998, when it knocked out the San
Antonio Spurs in five, 4-1. The Jazz went on to sweep the Lakers, 4-0, in the
West Finals, but fell in six, 4-2, to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in
the championship round.
The Warriors shocked the world with their stunning 4-2 series victory over the
top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. Golden State
became just the third eighth-seeded team to defeat a one seed in the first
round of the playoffs. Denver eliminated the Seattle SuperSonics, 3-2, in the
first round of the 1994 playoffs, while the Knicks knocked out the Miami Heat
in five, 3-2, during the opening round of the 1999 postseason. The Warriors
became the first eight seed to knock out a one seed in a best-of-seven series.
Golden State won its first playoff series since 1991 when it eliminated
the San Antonio Spurs, 3-1, in the opening round of the postseason. The
Warriors, who had the longest playoff drought in the NBA, returned to the
postseason for the first time since 1994 when they were led by Chris Mullin,
Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber.
The last time the Warriors won a Western Conference semifinals series was in
1976, when they defeated Detroit in six games. They would lose in seven to
Phoenix in the conference finals.
Golden State has lost four straight semifinals series. The Warriors were
defeated by the Lakers in 1977, 1987 and 1991. They also lost to the Suns in