SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Jerry Sloan sounded more like a coach
whose team got routed than the one who won.
Sloan's Utah Jazz beat the slumping and tired Warriors 91-77
Wednesday night, extending a 10-year home winning streak against
Golden State despite a bit of a letdown in the second half.
"They had played last night. They had a tough game," Sloan
said of the Warriors' 96-92 loss to Sacramento on Tuesday night.
"They come out here and get back in the ballgame and we act like
we aren't even concerned."
The Warriors have lost seven straight.
The Jazz shot 59 percent and forced 14 turnovers in the first
half to beat the Warriors for the 19th straight time at home. The
margin was close to 20 points for most of the second half and could
have been much more if not for some sloppy play by the Jazz.
"I think the biggest thing was that Golden State came here not
ready to play. That's the reason why we won this game so easy,"
said Gordan Giricek, who had 10 points in his first start for the
Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Raja Bell
added 15 points and six assists. With Utah's win and Denver's 98-97
loss at New Jersey on Wednesday, the Jazz are a half-game behind
the Nuggets for the No. 8 playoff spot in the West.
Utah visits Denver on Sunday in the second stop of a five-game
After struggling on the road all season, Sloan wanted to see a
more consistent game at home before the Jazz left town at such a
"We came out in the second half, and I am sure Jerry already
told you, we were pretty soft and they laid into us," Bell said.
"We should have been the fresher team, and it didn't look like
Kirilenko was the only Jazz starter to play more than a few
minutes in the fourth quarter. He said he got in Sloan's doghouse
for not following the offense when his defender tried to cheat
toward the basket.
"That's my bad. He's the coach," Kirilenko said. "He gave me
direction. I'm like a worker. I'm like soldier. I should do that."
Mikki Moore was the only one of Utah's 11 players not to score.
Sasha Pavlovic, who was replaced in the starting five by Giricek
after struggling the last few games, came off the bench to score
11, and Jarron Collins added 11 points and six rebounds.
Jason Richardson led Golden State with 19 points. Mike Dunleavy
added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors, who haven't
won at Utah since November, 1994.
Golden State never threatened to break the streak.
"They just beat us from the start," Dunleavy said. "They're
fighting for their lives to get in that last playoff spot, and
they're playing like it."
After falling behind by 26 in the first half, the Warriors
didn't get closer than 17 until Mickael Pietrus made two free
throws with 18.3 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 91-75.
Troy Murphy, activated Wednesday after missing 29 games with a
broken hand, added a late dunk to cap a 7-2 run for Golden State to
make the final score look closer than the game actually was.
About the only real highlight for the Warriors was when Avery
Johnson intercepted Mo Williams' pass on a five-on-one during the
second quarter and passed it to Murphy for a dunk. But Bell
answered with a jump shot, then drove for a one-handed dunk to put
the Jazz up 50-25.
Later in the quarter, Michael Ruffin grabbed an offensive
rebound and slammed it down in one motion, and the Jazz led 56-30
at halftime. It was Utah's highest scoring first half this season,
topping the 55 on Nov. 19 against Sacramento.
Kirilenko has led the Jazz in scoring 26 times and
rebounding 24 times. ... Utah G Carlos Arroyo missed the game with
a sore back he injured Monday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
... Utah shot 23-for-39 in the first half. ... Golden State was
just 2-for-11 from 3-point range.