- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - C.J. Watson scored a career-high 38 points, Robert Kurz also had a career best, and the Golden State Warriors used only seven players while beating the Utah Jazz 118-108 on Saturday night.

Watson made all 16 foul shots and had nine assists and seven rebounds. Kurz finished with 21 points for Golden State, which led by as much as 17 and never let the playoff-bound Jazz get closer than five despite being at a disadvantage with only seven healthy players.

Still, the Warriors’ reserves _ both of them _ nearly outscored Utah’s.

Deron Williams had 26 points and 14 assists before leaving in the final minute, holding his ribs. Carlos Boozer added 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz, in danger of drawing the Lakers in the first round.

The Jazz (47-33) have only two games remaining and will need to win both and get help from either New Orleans or Dallas if they are going to move up from the No. 8 seed.

Utah had a great opportunity Saturday, trailing Dallas and New Orleans by a game a day before the Mavericks and Hornets meet in New Orleans. But the Warriors didn’t concede anything.

Kelenna Azubuike scored 18, Anthony Morrow added 13 points and Anthony Randolph 11 for Golden State. Ronny Turiaf added nine points and combined with Kurz to give the Warriors’ reserves 30 points, only one fewer than the five Jazz backups managed to score.

The Warriors shot 68 percent in the second quarter while outscoring Utah 36-20 and taking a 64-51 lead at halftime.

By the time Utah made a run in the fourth quarter, it was too late.

Andrei Kirilenko made a field goal, then drew a foul on the next possession. He made the first free throw and missed the second, but Mehmet Okur was there to put back the rebound and get Utah within 101-89 with 7:14 left in the game.

After Williams made two foul shots to get Utah within 103-91, the Jazz got a break when Watson ran headfirst into Kurz’s screen and lost the ball. Williams scooped it up and fed Kirilenko for an easy dunk, then Kyle Korver added a free thrown when Golden State assistant Keith Smart was called for a technical.

Okur banked in a short jumper to cut it to 103-98, but he fouled Morrow under the other basket as Morrow put back an offensive rebound with 2:37 left.

Notes:@ Golden State coach Don Nelson was on the bench, but let Smart coach the Warriors. … Watson’s career high was 26 and the Kings on Jan. 14. … Kurz’s previous high was 20 against the Nuggets on Dec. 13. … Both teams were 29-for-37 from the foul line.

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