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Utah Jazz beat Golden State 97-90, stay ahead of Lakers
Utah Jazz's Derrick Favors (15) shoots over Golden State Warriors' Carl Landry during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz's Jamaal Tinsley (6) shoots over Golden State Warriors' Jarrett Jack (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry celebrates after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz' Mo Williams (5) and Randy Foye celebrate during the final seconds of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin looks up during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. The Jazz won 97-90. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) and Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson (11) fight for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Golden State Warriors' Carl Landry during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
 Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry reacts during the final seconds of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz' Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Golden State Warriors' Andrew Bogut (12)during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Utah Jazz' Mo Williams (5) throws the ball off Golden State Warriors' Jarrett Jack (2) before running out of bounds during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry reacts near the end of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. The Jazz won 97-90. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Oakland, Calif. • By the time the Utah Jazz took the floor Sunday, through no effort of their own, they had crept back in the playoff picture. Early arrivals to Oracle Arena sat around the visitors’ locker room, watching intently on a projector as the Los Angeles Clippers ran the Lakers out of their shared gym.

“I think everybody knows what the Lakers did today,” Jazz forward Marvin Williams said. “We had a golden opportunity to come out and switch places with them.”

The Jazz took that opportunity and made a golden statement, beating the Warriors 97-90 after Mo Williams made a game-clinching 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left. With the win, the Jazz moved a half-game ahead of the Lakers.

The victory represented the Jazz’s most encouraging road effort of the season. It was just their third road victory over a team with a winning record, and it gave them consecutive road wins for the first time this season.

Beating Golden State may have turned the tide of an entire season. The Jazz host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, and Minnesota on Friday, then close out the season with road games at Minnesota and Memphis.

“We win out,” Gordon Hayward said simply, “we’ll be fine.”

Story continues below

By fine, he means in the playoffs.

Golden State had a chance to clinch just its second playoff berth in 20 years, but the Jazz had more pressing matters to attend to.

Mo Williams led the Jazz with 25 points, while Derrick Favors — who replaced Al Jefferson in the final minute of the game — came up with a big block and Hayward secured a key rebound to preserve the win.

Asked if he felt any pressure about replacing Jefferson in the final minute — a defensive strategy Corbin has infrequently employed — Favors said, “I don’t really feel pressure. I want to be in the game in the last minute.”

A short period in the first quarter aside, the Jazz came out more aggressive than the Warriors, recording 10 steals and 29 assists.

“This was all about them and them wanting it and the way they came out,” Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.

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Lakers’ loss, Utah’s rare road win put Jazz back in playoff position.

At a glance

Storylines Alone in the No. 8 spot

The Jazz win on a day the Los Angeles Lakers lose and move a half-game ahead for eighth in the Western Conference.

» Mo Williams finishes with 25 points, including a 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left to seal the win.

Western Conference playoff race

Top eight teams make the playoffs

W L GB

5. Memphis 52 25 5

6. Golden St. 44 33 13

7. Houston 43 34 14

8. Utah 41 37 16½

9. L.A. Lakers 40 37 17

10. Dallas 38 39 19

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