SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not emphasize the magnitude of Saturday’s game in his pregame talk with his team.
He didn’t have to.
Klay Thompson scored 36 points and Golden State erased a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Utah Jazz 111-107 and clinch a playoff spot.
Jordan Poole added 31 and Andrew Wiggins had 17 as the Warriors also snapped a four-game losing streak. At 49-29, they hold a one-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks for the third seed in the Western Conference with four games remaining.
“We’ll do everything we can to just win out,” Warriors guard Gary Payton II said. “That’s our mindset.”
It was an all-too-familiar storyline for the Jazz, who blew a 25-point lead in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Utah has lost 15 games this season in which it held double-digit leads.
“I don’t think we’re in a good place for the last six minutes (of a game),” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s not a good feeling in the locker room right now because guys want to win.”
Trailing 103-87 with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth, the Warriors rattled off an 18-0 run to take a 105-103 lead with 2:10 left. Thompson hit three 3-pointers during the stretch.
“It felt like we had enough time, but we didn’t have much momentum,” Kerr said. “. Unbelievable performance down stretch from our guys. I don’t know what else to say.”
The Jazz had a chance to take the lead with 20 seconds remaining but Rudy Gobert threw a pass out of bounds after clearing a rebound. The Warriors put the game away at the free-throw line.
Utah led by as many as 21 in the first half and took a 58-45 lead into the locker room. Mitchell had 17 but he had plenty of help, as Utah’s bench outscored Golden State’s second unit 17-5 over the first two quarters.
Poole scored 19 in the first half for the Warriors, including 14 in the second quarter. Then Thompson heated up in the fourth quarter, whipping the Chase Center crowd into a frenzy with each 3-pointer he made. He was 8 for 17 from long range for the game.
“Dub Nation loves Klay,” Payton said.