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Jackson, Warriors rout Jazz, pull even in playoff race

Apr 10, 2007 - 6:54 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Stephen Jackson helped the Golden State Warriors move closer to their first playoff berth in nearly 13 years.

Jackson scored 28 points and Baron Davis added 19 and eight assists as the Warriors used hot shooting en route to a 126-102 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Al Harrington collected 15 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State (38-40), which is in a virtual tie with the Los Angeles Clippers (37-39) and 1 1/2 games ahead of the New Orleans Hornets (36-41) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It was a nice win, it keeps us in the (playoff) hunt," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We just have to take it one game at a time and not get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. We just have to take care of our business. The way I look at it, you only make up ground on the road and lose ground at home."

"We're all doing a little bit of scoreboard watching because we do need (the Clippers) to lose," Jackson said. "They got the tiebreaker if we do tie, but we need them to lose some games, but we've still got to win our games. It doesn't really matter if they lose, we've still got to win, that's what's important."

The Warriors have four contests remaining, the Clippers six and the Hornets five.

Jackson shot 10-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-5 from the arc, and Davis was 5-of-11 from the field, including nailing both of his 3-pointers, for the Warriors, who shot 55 percent (47-of-85) to improve to 28-11 at home this season.

"I think I was more worried about the second half of the game because Utah is one of those teams that don't give up," Jackson said. "They play hard. They're one of the best executing teams in the league, but at the same time we wanted this game and we were focused on it and we got to a lot of loose balls. We kept our composure and found a way to win, we've been doing a lot of that lately."

Golden State, which has not made the playoffs since 1994, outscored the Jazz, 37-20, in the second quarter en route to a commanding lead that it never relinquished.

"Their matchups were small (in the second quarter), they go to that small lineup and Harrington is almost a three man playing a five," Utah swingman Matt Harpring said. "Jackson's almost a two playing a four, so they go to that small lineup and they get out and run, and it worked well for them."

Ronnie Brewer scored a career-high 21 points and Carlos Boozer and Harpring added 17 apiece for the Jazz (48-29), who fell one-half game behind Houston (49-29) in the race for the fourth-best record in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We're not playing our best basketball right now by any stretch," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "It seems like we were for a while there, and now we're not, and hopefully we get over this hump."

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