Jazz try to knock out Golden State
(Sports Network) – The Utah Jazz attempt to advance to the Western Conference
finals for the first time since 1998, as they welcome the Golden State
Warriors tonight to EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah leads this best-of-seven series 3-1. If necessary, Game 6 is scheduled
for Thursday at ORACLE Arena.
On Sunday, Carlos Boozer scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the
fourth-seeded Jazz over No. 8 Golden State, 115-101, at ORACLE Arena in Game 4
of the West semis.
Game 2 hero Derek Fisher poured in 21 points, while Deron Williams finished
with 20 points and 13 assists for the Jazz, who are 7-4 in this year’s
Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington both scored 24 points for the Warriors, who
suffered their first playoff loss at home (4-1) in front of the largest crowd
ever to attend a basketball game in California.
Baron Davis, who scored 32 points to lead Golden State to a Game 3 victory,
shot just 6-of-16 from the field and finished with 15 points and seven assists
in defeat. Golden State set playoff lows in field goal (40.5 percent) and
free throw (61.8 percent) percentage.
The Warriors have lost four straight Game 5s in the postseason. Golden
State has dropped five straight contests when facing elimination from the
Utah is 5-0 at home in this year’s playoffs. The Jazz have dropped three of
their last four Game 5s.
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