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Favors growing up as Jazz battle for playoff spot, enjoying crunch-time role as shot-blocker

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)The Associated Press

Tyrone Corbin remembers the scared pup that arrived in Salt Lake City as part of the Deron Williams trade two year ago.

Now the Jazz coach has so much confidence in Derrick Favors he wasn't afraid to unleash him with Utah's playoff hopes on the line.

The 6-foot-10 Favors delivered Sunday night, blocking a shot with 40.9 seconds left to preserve Utah's 97-90 road victory over Golden State. The win, coupled with the Lakers' loss to the Clippers, allowed Utah to reclaim the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

If the Jazz go 3-1 over their remaining four games (Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Minnesota twice then Memphis), the Lakers would have to win their last five because Utah owns the tiebreaker.

Favors, all grown up, looks forward to that crunch-time pressure.