With Stephen Curry hobbled due to a badly sprained left ankle and their season on the brink, the Golden State Warriors needed a hero down eight late in the fourth quarter of Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs. That hero would arrive in the form of Jarrett Jack, the Warriors' fearless, but often maligned, sixth man.
Jack hit three straight jumpers to pull Golden State within four before tying the game on another jumper with 58 seconds remaining. He did miss a potential game-winner at the end of regulation, but then he opened the scoring in overtime and helped put the final nail in the coffin with two free throws in a 97-87 victory.
When the dust finally settled, Jack finished the game with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. He turned the ball over just twice in 37 minutes, a major positive for a Warriors team that has been dealing with some turnover issues.
The performance was a bit of redemption for Jack, who has proven to be a magnet for criticism over the course of this postseason. The general feelings for Jack were summed up perfectly by Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor after the game:
Where to begin with Jarrett Jack? The Warriors' sixth man is also their lighting rod, the player who causes a wider range of emotions among their fans than anyone on the roster. They want to bear hug him and bench him, cheer him and choke him -- sometimes all in the space of a single possession. Jack is one of those players who can take a fanbase from elation to frustration and back in a heartbeat.
Just two days prior in a heartbreaking Game 3 loss, Jack was the goat, eliciting boos from the crowd down the stretch as the Warriors fell apart. SB Nation's Warriors blog Golden State of Mind highlighted the crucial juncture:
That's when things went really downhill. Jack would end up dribbling around with no end in sight, including a blatant turnover straight into the hands of the enemy. The Oracle crowd was noticeably upset and you could hear a few boos.
But there would be no boos in Game 4 as Jack came to the rescue with the Warriors' season hanging in the balance. Curry was pretty much limited to standing in the corner because he could not move, meaning Jack had to take care of the majority of the ball-handling duties. Sometimes that can be disastrous, but it turned into a boon for Golden State on Sunday.
After what happened in Game 3, Golden State of Mind was pleasantly surprised at how Jack's fortunes changed, naming him their "Warrior Wonder" for Game 4 and offering up this little nugget:
I love that this team can be tied 2-2 with the vaunted San Antonio Spurs in Round 2 with Jarrett Jack being the Warrior Wonder. Eventually I'll get used to stuff like this, I suppose.
The way Jack plays, things could easily go right back off the rails in Game 5. But until then, he will be seen as the guy who helped saved the Warriors' season.
More from SB Nation: