|Missed free throws bring end to Warriors' home-court luck|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 13 May 2007 18:26|
The Golden State Warriors missed 13 of 34 free throws in their 115-101 loss to the Utah Jazz in Game 4 of their second-round series Sunday night.
It marked the second time in the series that missed free throws cost the Warriors a game. They missed three in the final minute of regulation in a 127-117 overtime loss in Game 2 last week in Utah.
Now Golden State heads back to Salt Lake City for Game 5 on Tuesday night trailing the best-of-seven series 3-1 and needing a win to bring the series back to Oakland.
The Warriors had lost only one of their previous 15 home games - a 126-89 loss to San Antonio on March 26 - and had outscored the opposition by an average of 16.8 points in their first four playoff games in Oakland.
But with the off-balance 3-pointers, twisting drives and emphatic dunks not there like they were in previous games, the Warriors needed to make free throws to win Game 4. Instead, they shot 61.8 percent, while Utah hit 37 of 43 from the line.
The misses for Golden State started piling up early. There were three in the second quarter by Mickael Pietrus, whose two Game 2 misses were so crucial. Then two more that quarter by Andris Biedrins, whose every trip to the line is an adventure with his line-drive shot.
Then came the key fourth quarter, when Golden State missed five of its first six attempts. Al Harrington couldn't convert a three-point play, the usually reliable Stephen Jackson missed one of two when the Warriors had a chance to tie. Then Baron Davis, whose end-of-game miss set up Deron Williams' tying shot last week in Utah, bricked two in a row with Golden State down 92-88 with 4:39 to go.
Matt Barnes added another miss when he tried to convert his three-point play 2 minutes later and Derek Fisher answered with a 3-pointer that gave the Jazz a seven-point lead and all but put the game away.
The Warriors set another attendance record with 20,679 fans - the most ever to watch a basketball game in California. But all those raucous supporters decked out in yellow ``We Believe'' T-shirts might need to wait until next season to bring that back out for a game.
They can only hope the Warriors do a better job shooting their free throws.