Davis, Warriors pound Jazz in Game 3
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Baron Davis scored 32 points and electrified
the crowd with a demonstrative dunk late in the fourth quarter, as the
Warriors dominated on the perimeter to avoid a huge hole in their Western
Conference semifinal series with a 125-105 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Davis also dished out nine assists and had a playoff career-best six steals
for Golden State, which remained perfect at home in this year’s playoffs and
pulled within 2-1 in the best-of-seven set. Golden State, which has yet to
lose at home in four playoff games, can even the series with a victory Sunday
night at ORACLE Arena.
“He was pretty sensational,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said of Davis. “I’ve
seen it a time or two here and there, but I haven’t seen it consistently like
he had tonight in a game where he was so dominant.”
Stephen Jackson picked up three fouls in the first quarter, but Davis lifted
the Warriors on his shoulders, as the veteran guard ended 12-of-20 from the
field. Jason Richardson had 25 points for Golden State, which went 15-of-32
from three-point range, continuing their incredible surge at home, where they
finished off the top-seeded Mavericks last week.
“I was real pleased with everything that we did, the adjustments we made I
thought were good,” Nelson said. “Of course we did have the hot hand tonight.
We definitely made shots.”
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who fell behind by
21 points at halftime and trailed by 30 in the third. Utah committed 25
turnovers, leading to 29 Golden State points.
“We couldn’t get back down the floor. They were on top of us in the open
court,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “That’s where they’re good. They drive
the ball to the basket, look for people outside and they made their shots very
The Jazz played shorthanded at the guard spot as rookie Dee Brown missed the
game due to a neck injury sustained on Wednesday. Also, Deron Williams and
Derek Fisher were in foul trouble most of the night, draining Utah’s
Fisher, whose emotional return after a cross-country flight following his
daughter’s cancer treatment in New York, helped the Jazz to a Game 2 win, but
he was limited to 16 minutes and fouled out on Friday.
The highlights seemed endless for the Warriors, and it was culminated when the
6-foot-3 Davis drove to the left baseline and challenged 6-foot-9 Andrei
Kirilenko, jamming over the Utah forward with 2:48 remaining.
Davis was given a technical for lifting up his jersey in celebration by
jamming over a player that has 16 blocks in this series, but at that point
the Warriors had the game well in hand with a 121-99 cushion.
“Once I got that bounce I saw Kirilenko and I was going to try and reverse
it,” Davis said. “Knowing he’s a great shot blocker, we were up, I was trying
my luck and I got lucky.”
Already ahead by 21 at the half, the Warriors continued to pour it on in the
third, raining threes on the Jazz. Al Harrington hit two in a row for an 84-56
margin. One Harrington free throw made it 92-62, and Richardson got into the
act later in the period with a three ball, boosting the lead to 96-68.
Utah got within 104-85 at the end of the third, but never got closer than 15
in the last 12 minutes.
Harrington had 15 points, Mickael Pietrus 14 and Andris Biedrins ended with 13
points and 13 boards for the Warriors.
Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur each scored 15, while Williams ended with 14 for
Golden State scored 15 in a row to grab a 19-7 lead, with Harrington ending
the spurt with a three. Williams picked up his second foul with 5:34 left in
the first and Jackson was hit with his third with just over four minutes
remaining in the period.
Utah came back with a 13-2 spurt to grab a 27-26 lead, but Golden State scored
the final four of the first and widened the gap in the second by continuing to
hit from long range.
Pietrus drilled a three for a 42-31 lead and he banged in three straight free
throws midway through the quarter. Richardson and Pietrus hit back-to-back
threes later in the period for a 60-40 margin and it was 70-49 at the half.
The Warriors went 11-for-21 from three-point range in the opening 24 minutes,
with the 11 made equaling an NBA playoff record for one half.
The last time Golden State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a series was in
1987, when the Warriors beat the Jazz in five games…The Warriors are 4-0
versus the Jazz in the playoffs in Oakland…Matt Harpring had 12 points for
Utah, while Monta Ellis scored 10 for Golden State…The Jazz held a 44-32
advantage on the boards…Jackson had eight points…Golden State had 23 fast
break points to four for Utah.