Favors Leads Jazz Past Warriors In OT
SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) — Derrick Favors took advantage of his opportunity when the game was on the line.
“Most coaches will tell you need to just play your game and don’t try to do anything you can’t do. But when it got down to crunch time, I told myself, `I’m going to try and win this game,'” Favors said.
The 20-year-old power forward has rarely been on the court when a game is tight at the finish, but he made the most of his opportunity Saturday night.
Starting for Al Jefferson, Favors had career highs with 23 points and 17 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz edge the Golden State Warriors 99-92 in overtime.
“Coach (Ty Corbin) trusted me enough at the end of the game to keep me in, so I couldn’t let him down,” Favors said.
Jefferson, Utah’s leading scorer and rebounder, was attending his grandmother’s funeral in Mississippi.
Favors scored four of the first six points in overtime and the Jazz earned their sixth straight home win, and second straight in overtime.
“In overtime, they had home-court advantage and just overwhelmed us,” said David Lee, who had 18 points but missed his last five field goal attempts often trying to shoot over Favors.
Favors, whose previous scoring high was 20 points before he came to Utah from New Jersey in the trade for Deron Williams last season, made a three-point play and a block in the closing seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Nate Robinson scored 19 points and Klay Thompson added 17 points for the Warriors.
Favors also went 9 of 9 from the free throw line to set another career mark. “That was a relief to see all of those go down,” Favors said.
Paul Millsap scored 13 points and Gordon Hayward had 12 and the Jazz overcame 41.6 percent shooting with a 65-40 rebounding advantage.
“It’s great offense when you can execute your plays and you take a shot and then get a second shot. It shows a lot of hustle,” Corbin said of his team, which reached .500 at 22-22.
Richard Jefferson, in his first game since coming to the Warriors, played 38 minutes and had nine points on 2-of-14 shooting.
“There were some shots that I could have knocked down, but you win as a team and you lose as a team,” Jefferson said.
Robinson made two free throws with 1:31 left in regulation and, after a jumper by Devin Harris, hit a pull-up 3-pointer with 32.4 seconds remaining for an 87-84 lead.
Favors answered with a dunk while getting fouled off a pick-and-roll pass from Harris. His free throw tied the game at 87-87 with 27.8 seconds to go.
“We’ve been wanting him to pick-and-roll like that all year long and he finished like he needs to on that play,” Harris said. “He played an incredible game.”
Favors blocked Robinson’s driving attempt with 7.9 seconds left before Harris’ last-second jumper glanced off the rim to force the Jazz into overtime for the second straight game.
“The frustrating thing is that we had the opportunity to close out the game. We needed one stop and we couldn’t get it done. It’s disappointing,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said.
The Jazz half-court offense often sputtered without Jefferson — the team’s first option who will also miss the game against the Lakers on Sunday — until Favors wore down the Warriors with his rebounding tenacity.
Reserve center Enes Kanter grabbed 13 rebounds and the Jazz had 20 offensive rebounds.
“You could get five point guards who want to go get the rebound and they won’t give up that many rebounds,” Jackson said.
Golden State is also transitioning to an offense without Monta Ellis, who averaged 21.9 points per game before his trade to Milwaukee. The Warriors made 14 of 41 shots after halftime and had 25 3-point attempts, making just six.
Stephen Curry, who averages 14.7 points and 5.3 assists, did not dress for the fourth straight game because of a sprained right ankle. Even with all that, the Warriors were ahead several times late in the fourth quarter.
Leading 82-80, Golden State’s Dorrell Wright stole the ball and was headed for an easy basket at the other end. Hayward hustled from behind and blocked the shot.
The lanky Jazz forward took the ball downcourt and dunked in traffic to tie the game and electrify the crowd.
“We need to take advantage of the opportunities we get as young guys,” Favors said as he, Hayward and Alec Burks — all 21 years old or younger — played all of the fourth quarter and overtime.
NOTES: The Jazz played in their road green uniforms in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. … Robinson’s leaning 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer initially counted, but was ruled too late after a video review. … Jazz starting guard Raja Bell sat out with a strained left adductor that has hampered him all season and top reserve Earl Watson was inactive because of his severely sprained ankle.
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