Warriors try to even West semis with Jazz
(Sports Network) – The Golden State Warriors try to even their Western
Conference semifinals series with the Utah Jazz at two games apiece, as the
teams square off tonight at ORACLE Arena.
Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled for Tuesday at
In Game 3, Baron Davis scored 32 points and electrified the crowd with a
demonstrative dunk late in the fourth quarter, as the eighth-seeded Warriors
dominated on the perimeter and earned a 125-105 victory over No. 4 Utah on
Friday at ORACLE Arena.
Davis also dished out nine assists and had a playoff career-best six steals
for Golden State, which is a perfect 4-0 at home in this year’s playoffs.
Jason Richardson had 25 points for Golden State, which went 15-of-32 from
beyond the arc.
Carlos Boozer finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who fell
behind by 21 points at halftime and trailed by 30 in the third quarter. Utah
committed 25 turnovers, leading to 29 Golden State points.
Golden State’s victory in Game 4 was its first semifinals win since May 8,
1991. The Warriors defeated the Lakers, 125-124, on the road in Game 2 of the
The Warriors have lost two of their last three Game 4s in the postseason,
while Utah has dropped three of its last four Game 4s.
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