Utah Jazz push back into playoff position with a big road win over Warriors
"The two MVPs of the game were Mo Williams on the offensive end and Derrick Favors controlled the game defensively," Jazz guard Randy Foye said. "Derrick did a great job, especially at the end of the game."
That goes for the team, too.
Utah, a squad that struggled more on the road more than a nervous 15-year-old driver's ed student for most of this season, withstood an early offensive onslaught by Curry.
The Jazz didn't buckle when Thompson got hot in the second half or when Lee, Jarrett Jack or Carl Landry threatened to push the momentum in the Warriors' favor.
These, well, re-born road warriors didn't even cave under the pressure in the fourth quarter like they had in so many previous losses away from home — like in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Chicago, etc.
This time, the Jazz looked and acted like a playoff team when the game was on the line. Jefferson contributed 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists; Hayward had 13 points and six dishes; and Utah's defense limited Golden State to 21 points in each of the final three quarters.
"I just think that we're playing with a sense of urgency," Foye said. "We understand what is at stake and the position we're in, and we really want this. There's no quit in any of us and we're going to continue to fight every single night."
The Warriors noticed.
Every time Golden State pushed and tested Utah, the Jazz answered.
Sometimes it was Jefferson jumpers or free throws, a Paul Millsap bucket or 3-pointers from Jamaal Tinsley, Foye, Hayward and Williams.
Other times, it was DeMarre Carroll's trademark hustle plays or a Tinsley steal or Corbin subbing Favors in for Big Al with 55 seconds remaining.
"I think they outplayed us. They played like a team that their playoff lives depended on this game," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We played, at times, like a team that had a cushion. I think that was the bottom line."
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