Jazz take control in 4th, defeat Warriors 104-98

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Jazz take control in 4th, defeat Warriors 104-98

Player(s) of the Game: Al Jefferson, who did not play in Utah's 99-92 overtime victory over the Warriors on St. Patrick's Day, registered 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks to help the Jazz keep pace in the race for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Jefferson wasn't alone, however, as point guard Devin Harris scored a season-high 28 points, including a career-best five made 3-pointers. He entered the game averaging just eight points over his previous five contests, and was shooting just under 33 from beyond the arc prior to tonight (he was 5-for-8 in this one).

Key stretch: The Warriors led 80-78 entering the fourth quarter, but Utah used a 18-6 run to take a 96-86 lead with just over 4:30 remaining.

Dorell Wright missed an open three with 21 seconds remaining that would have cut the Jazz lead to one. The shot looked dead on, but hit the front rim and skipped over and out.

Second quarter runs: The Warriors trailed 28-25 at the end of the first quarter, but made their first four 3-point attempts in the second, igniting an 18-2 run and a 43-30 lead.

However, the Jazz responded with a run of their own, dominating the final seven minutes of the half to tie it at 55-55.

Klay gets hot: Rookie Klay Thompson missed his first five shots, but finally got a jumper to go with 1:28 remaining in the first half.

The jumper gave him some confidence, as he netted 10 3rd-quarter points, and 11 4th-quarter points to finish with 23 -- the most he has scored since dropping 31 on the Kings on Mar. 24.

Entering the game, Thompson was 3rd in the league among rookies in scoring since Mar. 25, averaging 14.3 points per game.

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (20.1) and Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas (17.9) are the only two rookies ahead of Thompson.

Career night for Tyler: Rookie center Jeremy Tyler set a career high with 14 points, 10 of which came in the first half.

His five rebounds and nine field-goal attempts were both the second highest totals on the season.

Jenkins with an ankle problem? Charles Jenkins seemed to be favoring his ankle in the fourth quarter and clearly wasn't playing at full strength.

The rookie from Hofstra had a very solid 1st quarter with 8 points and 2 assists, but picked up his third foul with 1:36 remaining in the opening period.

Mark Jackson inserted him back into the game late in the second quarter, but his foul trouble (along with an apparent ankle issue), slowed him down the rest of the way.

He finished with 8 points and 7 assists.

It may come as a surprise that entering the game, Jenkins was the 5th leading scorer among rookies since Mar. 25, at 13.9 points per game.

Thompson and Jenkins -- a starting rookie backcourt that is gaining valuable experience.

Notes:

NBA Gameday: Barnes, Warriors welcome Kings to Oracle

NBA Gameday: Barnes, Warriors welcome Kings to Oracle

OAKLAND -- Seeking their sixth consecutive win, the Warriors will get their first look at the dramatically revamped Sacramento Kings when the teams meet Friday night at Oracle Arena.

A win by the Warriors, combined with a Cleveland Cavaliers loss, would give the Warriors homecourt advantage in any NBA Finals scenario.

But the Warriors (57-14) may have to squint to recognize these Kings, who last month traded star big man DeMarcus Cousins -- the team’s mainstay for seven years -- to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and other considerations.

The Kings (27-44) have lost 11 of 14 games since the deal and are slowly sinking out of the Western Conference playoff race.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 17.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Klay Thompson vs. Buddy Hield: It’s a battle between the Bahamians, or as Thompson has said of Hield, “My Bahamian brother.” Thompson has been cooking, shooting 53.2 percent (25-of-47) beyond the arc and 55.3 (52-of-94) percent overall over the last five games. Hield, a rookie from Oklahoma, has adapted well to Sacramento, scoring in double digits in 10 of 11 games while shooting 48.2 percent (27-of-56) from deep and 50.0 percent (60-of-120) overall this month.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Kings: F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear) and G Malachi Richardson (R hamstring partial tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 7-3. Kings: 2-8.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season and 15 of the last 17 overall, including the last seven games in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE TRANSITION GAME: Though the Kings are playing faster in the post-Cousins era, they still have little chance of matching the pace at which the Warriors prefer to play. Expect the Warriors to push at every opportunity, even if it means committing a few turnovers, in order to coax Sacramento out of rhythm. The Kings rank 26th in fast-break points and actually had a game in which they scored 0 fast-break points.

BOMBS AWAY: The Warriors rank third in 3-point shooting percentage (38.3), while the Kings rank 26th in 3-point percentage defense (37.2). There will opportunities galore for Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Ian Clark and Thompson -- who two years ago torched the Kings with an NBA-record 37 points in a quarter.

THIS “SKAL” GUY: Rookie forward Skal Labissiere, a 6-foot-11 package of raw talent, has been something of a revelation for the Kings. Emerging from the shadows in the wake of the Cousins deal, he has reminded observers why he was such a heralded prep recruit from the Memphis area. This sounds like a job for Draymond Green.

QUOTABLE

“Try to kill ‘em, plain and simple. Things didn’t go well there. They’re the enemy now. So we’re trying to kill ‘em. Beat ‘em by 50.” -- Warriors forward Matt Barnes on facing the Kings, who released him last month.

Warriors recall Kevon Looney from D-League ahead of Kings game

Warriors recall Kevon Looney from D-League ahead of Kings game

The Golden State Warriors have recalled forward Kevon Looney from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today. Looney will be available for tonight’s Golden State game against the Sacramento Kings, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. (PDT) at Oracle Arena. 

Looney tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and one block in 13 minutes off the bench for Santa Cruz in Thursday's 106-103 road victory against the Austin Spurs. The 6’9”, 220-pound forward has appeared in four games (one start) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 12.8 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field in 19.8 minutes.  

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