OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Gordon Hayward made a go-ahead free throw with 11 seconds remaining, lifting the Utah Jazz past the Golden State Warriors 88-87 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
Hayward finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Al Jefferson added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who shot just 39.5 percent.
Monta Ellis had 32 points and six assists but had a costly turnover that led to Hayward’s free throw and missed a running bank shot at the buzzer to send Golden State to its fifth straight loss. Stephen Curry and starting center Andris Biedrins sat out for the second straight game with sprained right ankles for Golden State.
An otherwise strong defensive game turned into an offensive outpouring late.
Golden State built a six-point lead in the fourth quarter with a 9-4 run to start the period capped by Brandon Rush’s 3-pointer. A series of turnovers and fouls put the Jazz in prime position to pounce, taking an 81-79 lead on Hayward’s free throws with 4:50 remaining in what became a back-and-forth finish.
After Ellis jumped in the air for a pass that was picked off by Devin Harris, Hayward took the ball sprinted up court to drew a foul on Rush at the rim. He made the first free throw to put Utah up 88-87, and the Warriors took over with 9.9 seconds to play after rebounding Hayward’s miss on the second.
Ellis let the clock drain down and moved to his right, sending a shot that banked off the back, touched the rim and missed. He was 16 for 17 from the free throw line, the most he has ever made in his career.
The wounded Warriors shook up the home team’s plans again.
Curry will be examined in Charlotte on Monday night by Dr. Bob Anderson, who performed surgery on the point guard’s troublesome ankle May 25, while Biedrins is expected back sooner.
The Jazz exploited Golden State’s weaknesses in a hurry.
Utah sliced through the paint past backup center Kwame Brown for easy buckets almost at will, and the Warriors’ undersized Nate Robinson-Monta Ellis combo proved passive on defense.
The Jazz created endless passing lanes that led to several uncontested shots, getting off to an 18-6 start highlighted by Hayward’s 3-pointer in the first quarter. The Warriors trimmed that cushion to five in the first few minutes of the second quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers by Robinson, with the 5-foot-9 guard flicking three fingers on both hands after each and waving his arms to the crowd.
After switching to a zone defense and pushing the tempo, a dazzling displaying of acrobatic layups and fadeaway jumpers by Ellis put Golden State in front for the first time in the final minute of the half. He finished with 10 points in the period – and 18 in the half – to give the Warriors a 46-45 lead at the break.
The second half started in similar fashion.
The Jazz raced out on a 10-2 run capped by a turnaround jumper by Derrick Favors to go ahead by seven. Ellis again took charge, pushing the pace to give the Warriors a 66-63 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Notes: Jazz reserve F Jeremy Evans sat out with a stomach virus. … Rookie Charles Jenkins started in Curry’s place. Warriors coach Mark Jackson expects Jenkins to start and Robinson to come off the bench until Curry is back. … Golden State’s crowd of 19,596 was its fourth sellout in five home games this season.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.