OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas barely recalled scoring
just one point in his last game.
He wasn't a big part of the offense against Denver, the team
he's supposedly headed to when he can become a free agent this
summer. But there were better things to talk about Tuesday night,
when Golden State's star guard scored 34 points with a career-high
six 3-pointers as the Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz 128-102.
"That game I just didn't shoot," Arenas said of Sunday's
106-99 road win against the Nuggets that snapped a three-game
losing streak. "I didn't put my emotions into that game. Everybody
wanted to see how I was going to come out and play and if I was
going to take a lot of shots or something. I took my emotions out
and tried to win the game."
Why play with no emotion?
"Since I guess that's the team I'm supposed to be going to, as
you guys say," Arenas said. "You know that pressure, the
pressure, you know. Your team is coming in. Let's see how you play
against your next team. I don't have time for that. I'm here to
play basketball, not worry about two months from now."
Arenas was held to 12 total points in his past two games on
4-for-14 shooting, but he already had 12 with 1:46 left in the
first quarter Tuesday.
The Warriors are still 3½ games behind the Phoenix Suns for the
eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with four
games to play. Phoenix beat the Nuggets 98-78 in Denver.
Antawn Jamison added 16 points and Troy Murphy had 13 points and
12 rebounds in an impressive offensive night for Golden State,
which shot 52.5 percent and just plain outworked Utah.
"I thought that was our best game of the year," coach Eric
Musselman said. "There were some defensive shot-clock violations.
I thought we were active and enthusiastic and pushed the ball well
and had great shot selection. We attacked after misses and makes
and had contributions from everyone tonight."
Karl Malone had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Carlos Arroyo
added 16 off the bench as the Jazz lost their third straight game.
Their previous two defeats were by a total of four points.
Utah has already clinched a playoff spot, the franchise's 20th
straight postseason berth, and even if the Jazz were to finish with
the same record as the Houston Rockets, Utah wins the tiebreaker
based on its division record. Coach Jerry Sloan used his bench for
most of the second half.
Arenas also added five assists and four rebounds. All five
Warriors starters, and eight Golden State players in all, finished
in double figures. Jason Richardson scored the first four points in
the fourth and the Warriors' defense held the Jazz without a field
goal in the final period until DeShawn Stevenson scored with 8:24
The Jazz lost two of the previous three meetings to the Warriors
this season, including Jan. 31 in the Delta Center, and didn't look
at all in sync in either half. They missed open shots and did not
show much defensive intensity as the Warriors effectively moved the
ball and penetrated into the key for easy shots. Golden State
outhustled Utah to the boards and loose balls.
"We couldn't do much of anything," Sloan said. "They ran all
over us. ... They looked like a team that's going to the playoffs
and we looked like a team that's going home."
When Utah pulled within 10 late in the third quarter, Arenas
came up big on the other end with two points. Early in the fourth,
the Jazz had a shot-clock violation, not a good sign for staging a
A .500 season remains within reach for the Warriors (38-40), who
finished 21-61 last season.
The Warriors made 10 of their first 16 shots for 62.5 percent in
the first quarter, including 5-for-6 by Arenas. Golden State built
a 46-35 lead on a basket by Mike Dunleavy with 6:26 left in the
second that ended a 12-5 run. Dunleavy, a rookie, had a season-high
17 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Jamison had a thundering, one-handed dunk with 2:13 left in the
half on the way to a 67-55 halftime lead. The Warriors' 67 points
at the half were a season-high and they shot 67.6 percent.
Warriors F Chris Mills has missed the last 15 games with
left Achilles' tendinitis and isn't expected to return this season.
... The only teams with more consecutive playoff trips than the
Jazz are the Philadelphia 76ers with 22 (1949-50 through 1970-71)
and the Portland Trail Blazers' current streak of 21 (1982-83 to
the present). ... Every Warriors player scored, with Jiri Welsch's
two free throws at 29.6 finishing the feat.