|Jazz lack big performances from Fisher, Williams in Game 3|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 May 2007 18:04|
They weren't even on the court for much of the first half in Game 3 - forced to watch from the bench in foul trouble as the Jazz fell way behind.
And Utah never could recover even once both returned.
By then, the Warriors were already well on their way to a 125-105 victory Friday night to get on the board in the Western Conference semifinals.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan certainly will demand more from his top playmakers in Game 4 on Sunday night, otherwise Utah could be headed home with the series tied at 2 after leading 2-0.
Fisher finished with nine points on 1-of-6 shooting, no assists and didn't make his first field goal until 11:12 remaining, then fouled out late. He made all seven of his free throws.
Williams had 14 points, six assists and four rebounds while committing seven turnovers - uncharacteristic sloppiness for the typically reliable point guard. Williams, Utah's second-leading scorer during the playoffs at 18.1 points per game, showed his frustration when he was whistled for a technical foul for arguing in the final minute of the third.
On the defensive end, the Jazz seemed a step behind all night. They had a hard time getting a hand in the face of Golden State's dangerous perimeter shooters and got beat down the floor by Baron Davis and company repeatedly as the Warriors dictated the pace of the game. Golden State made 11 3-pointers in the first half, matching an NBA playoff record, and 15 total.
It was Williams who hit the 12-foot jumper in the waning seconds of regulation in Game 2 that sent Utah into overtime in its 127-117 victory Wednesday. And Fisher's dramatic entrance in the third quarter that night after returning from the East Coast and dealing with his daughter's illness provided a huge emotional boost for his teammates.
The Jazz lacked that kind of energy and passion Friday, just the way the Dallas Mavericks did during the first-round games in Oakland.
So far during these playoffs, opposing teams have done little right at raucous Oracle Arena - where the eighth-seeded Warriors are 4-0 in the postseason and 14-1 since March 5.
Fisher and Williams combined for five shots and four points in the first two quarters, a big reason why the Jazz trailed 70-49 at halftime despite a 24-17 rebounding advantage. Williams played all of nine minutes in the first half and Fisher only five. Both were out for most of Golden State's decisive 30-13 run that put the Jazz in a 20-point hole.
Williams, Utah's top draft pick in 2005 at third overall, had 17 points, 14 assists, three rebounds and a steal in 37 minutes in Game 2. The Jazz will be counting on him to bounce back with another big performance in Game 4.