Jazz advance to Western finals, end Warriors' playoff runMay 16, 2007 - 7:58 AM SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz finally put the Golden State Warriors' historic postseason run to an end.
Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer both notched double-doubles to help the Jazz advance to the Western Conference finals with a 100-87 triumph over the Warriors.
Derek Fisher scored 20 points and Mehmet Okur also registered a double-double for Utah, which remained undefeated in six home games in the playoffs.
"I don't think anyone knew, including ourselves, how good our team could be and we got off to that start at the beginning of the season and we really started to believe that we could be good," Fisher said.
The Jazz will face the winner between second-seeded Phoenix and third-seeded San Antonio in the Western Conference finals.
Kirilenko had a playoff career highs with 21 points and 15 rebounds and Boozer chipped in 21 and 14 as Utah outrebounded Golden State, 59-35, and owned a 20-6 edge on the offensive glass.
"Yes, (rebounding) is a big factor," Kirilenko said. "Golden State has small lineup and for us, we can't start playing their open game. We need execution, we need to deliver the ball to our big guys, and we need to stay on the ball."
"We did an amazing job on the board. I think because we go on the board, we put ourself on the free-throw line. They can't do anything with that. They don't have size."
The Jazz are headed to the conference finals for the first time since consecutive trips in 1997 and 1998, which resulted in back-to-back NBA Finals appearances.
"I just really believe in this team, and we're showing it right now," Utah forward Matt Harpring said.
Baron Davis had 21 points, eight assists and six steals for Golden State, which become the first eighth seed in league history to win a seven-game series over the top seed, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Dallas won an NBA-best 67 games.
"No need for us to be bitter, we had a great year," Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson said. "A lot of y'all said we wouldn't be here right now, we are here. We had a great year, everybody's still upbeat. Everybody's happy with the way our season went and at the same time we give credit to Utah, because they played a great game."
Warriors coach Don Nelson laughed when asked what his club needs to get over the hump.
"The hump was not making the playoffs for the last 12 years, are you kidding me?" Nelson said. "I don't know what over the hump is. If we didn't get over the hump this year, something's wrong."
In the fourth quarter, Kirilenko's tip-in broke an 83-83 tie and Fisher nailed a 3-pointer to help the Jazz grab a five-point lead at the 5:45 mark.
"That's how you win the game," Kirilenko said. "If you're going to hustle, compete for every ball, you show your openness every time, 'I'm going to challenge you, I'm going to challenge you.' For us, that was the game."
"That's how close-out games should be," Boozer said. "That's how the playoffs are supposed to be. They don't let you play. They don't let you earn it. And we earned it."
Golden State swingman Jason Richardson connected on a 17-foot jumper to close the deficit to 88-87 with 3:39 remaining.
But the Warriors would get not closer as the Jazz finished the contest on an impressive 12-0 surge, making 10-of-11 free during that stretch.
"They shot layups, we shot jumpers," Davis said. "They got to the foul line, we didn't. They got offensive rebounds. Same thing that happened in Game Four, Game One and Game Two, things that came back to haunt us. We were right there, we had an opportunity to win this ballgame and take it back to Oakland."
Late in the third quarter, the Warriors once again came apart as Jackson laid a hard foul on Utah rookie Dee Brown at midcourt. As a result, Jackson received a flagrant and a technical foul.
Brown was making his return after sitting two straight games due to a sore neck sustained in Game One, when Okur fell on top of him.
To make matters worst for Golden State, at the end of the period reserve Matt Barnes also picked up a technical for pushing Boozer after the buzzer.
"We were in it, we were down two (points) with two and a half minutes to go," Davis said. "Controversial calls went on that some of the guys didn't feel were the best calls but at the same time you still have to respond. I don't think that we gave up."
However, Utah could not capitalize as it missed four straight free throws to carry a slim 77-73 advantage into the decisive quarter.
Jackson scored 16 points and Barnes added 14 as Golden State shot 36 percent (28-of-77) from the field and was outscored, 23-14, in the fourth quarter.
GOLDEN STATE 87
UTAH 100 FINAL
May 16 1:29 AM
GOLDEN STATE 73
UTAH 77 END, 3RD QTR
May 16 12:48 AM
GOLDEN STATE 54
UTAH 52 HALFTIME
May 15 11:51 PM
GOLDEN STATE 32
UTAH 29 END, 1ST QTR
May 15 11:13 PM
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