Jarrett Jack will be praised for giving the Warriors their first fourth-quarter lead with a three-pointer in the final two minutes Sunday and for setting up the bucket 40 seconds later that resulted in a lead they would not relinquish.
Jack actually started leading the Warriors to their 100-99 matinee victory over Minnesota an hour before the game tipped off at the Target Center.
When two of the team's rookies wanted barbecue sandwiches and fries in the pregame locker room, Jack reminded the first-year players that the game started in an hour. They quietly switched their orders to chicken sandwiches with no fries.
"That's who he is for us," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said. "He's been a leader, and he's been a no-nonsense guy with a tremendous voice."
And Jack has been pretty stinking good on the court, too. Jack had team highs with 23 points and eight assists, provided the Warriors with their only energy in the first half, and then made all of the clutch plays down the stretch.
Jack swished a three-pointer to give the Warriors a 96-95 lead with 1:48 remaining, set up Stephen Curry for a jumper and a 98-97 advantage with 1:09 left and then raced back to defend Luke Ridnour's last-second runner to save a game that the Warriors should have lost for a number of reasons.
They committed 22 turnovers for 32 Minnesota points, got destroyed inside (62-36 in points in the paint), and trailed by as many as 16 points. But after trailing 91-85 with 6:09 remaining, the Warriors fought for seven offensive rebounds in the final 6:08 and forced the Timberwolves into 2-for-8 shooting and three turnovers of the closing 5:49.
"We try to have resolve, man," Jack said. "We've got resiliency and fight. The one thing we respect above all is effort, and through it all - the turnovers, missed shots and everything that wasn't going our way - we still played hard."
The Warriors (33-23) have won three in a row after a season-worst, six-game skid to move 1 1/2 games back of Denver for the fifth spot in the Western Conference. Seventh-place Utah is two games behind the Warriors, followed by eighth-place Houston (three games back) and the ninth-place Lakers (5 1/2 games back).

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