The Warriors wanted this one, but Utah needed it.
On a Sunday night when Utah beat the Warriors in physicality, energy and hustle, the Jazz also beat the Warriors on the scoreboard, 97-90, in front of the 29th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors could have clinched their first playoff berth in six years and just their second in the past 19 seasons. But the Jazz were fighting for their playoff lives, and they played like it.
"I think they outplayed us," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said. "We played, at times, like a team that had a cushion."
The Warriors were down by 11 points with 4:20 remaining, but Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry made consecutive three-pointers to trim the deficit to 91-86 with 3:16 left. After Draymond Green and Al Jefferson traded baskets, David Lee scored off an inbounds play to trim Utah's lead to 93-90 with 1:21 remaining.
The Warriors had to settle for a panicked Jarrett Jack jumper out of the corner that went awry with 34.5 seconds left.
Utah then ran a set play to perfection. It caused the Warriors to make two defensive switches, got the matchup it wanted, and had Mo Williams drain a three-pointer over Green for a 96-90 lead with 13.4 seconds left.
"We made some mistakes in the game, but everybody laid everything they had in them out on the floor," Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin said.
The Warriors (44-33) had won five of their past six games and nine of their past 12 and have been playing some of their best ball during the stretch. They're one game ahead of seventh-place Houston, 3 1/2 games ahead of eighth-place Utah and four games ahead of the ninth-place Lakers.
The Jazz (41-37) have won seven of their past eight games to stay in the postseason picture. They got 25 points and five assists from Williams and dominated inside with production from all of their big men (Al Jefferson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Derrick Favors had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Paul Millsap had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists).