OAKLAND -- As down as Warriors fans appear to be on Jarrett Jack, they may need to come around to him in a hurry. Jack may have to be the savior designate in prolonging the team's season.

Whether or not Stephen Curry's sprained left ankle shows marked improvement by Sunday's 12:30 p.m. Game 4 -- and that was sounding iffy Saturday -- Jack almost certainly will have a larger and more important role to play in trying to prevent the San Antonio Spurs from taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the teams' Western Conference semifinal.

Despite a season in which Jack was one of the best sixth men in the league and surely the best backup point guard the Warriors have had in many years, the notion that the team's fate could rest in his hands suddenly has the faithful in a froth.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson doesn't get it.

"With Steph Curry or without, we went and got Jarrett Jack for this reason," Jackson said. "He's a gamer, and he'll be ready for Game 4. That's not a concern. Probably in the past, I'd be biting my nails. But I've got a proven guy, and a proven guy who with his play has allowed us to be in the position we are today."

Jack was booed by the Oracle Arena crowd down the stretch of Game 3 Friday night for inconsistent and ineffectual play while the Warriors were trying to mount a fourth-quarter comeback. He missed a long desperation 3-point attempt with 2:05 to go and Golden State down by five and then made a particularly bad pass in the final minute that was stolen by Manu Ginobili that salted away the game.


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Jack, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, played 34 minutes but scored just 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting and had just one assist. Perhaps the most telling statistic, however, was that he was minus-19 for the time he was in the game. In other words, San Antonio was 19 points better than the Warriors when he was on the court. For the series, Jack is minus-33.

That's not good for a guy who generally is running the offense when he's on the floor. The Spurs have done a good job defending Jack on the pick-and-roll, frustrating his ability to create and forcing him to try to make a play on his own. More often than not, it hasn't gone well.

"I think I just have to find better ways to be able to put my imprint on one of these games coming up," Jack said. "They're definitely a little bit more aggressive in my pick-and-roll coverage, but I take that as a sign of respect. My job once two guys commit to the ball is to find the open person and allow them to make the play."

As for the prospect of having to step in for Curry if he is limited or unable to play, Jack didn't even blink.

"I've done it many, many, many times," he said. "It won't be anything where I have to read a Phil Jackson Zen book or anything."

Forward Carl Landry maintained that the Warriors inefficiencies, particularly on the pick-and-roll, shouldn't all be on Jack.

"(The Spurs) are pretty aggressive going after the guard and holding that screen," Landry. "We have to do a better job as bigs to make sure we find the right areas, the right gaps and seams, and make plays."

Landry, who got a head start getting to know Jack after playing with him in New Orleans last year before both wound up with Golden State, believes the veteran guard will rebound with in Game 4, whether Curry plays or not.

"He's a competitor," Landry said. "He doesn't want anything but the best. He knows when he performs well for us, we have a good chance of winning."

Jackson was quick to Jack's attributes.

"Toughness, edge, competitor, winner, honest guy who knows when he plays great and knows when he plays bad," the coach said. "He owns it, and his winning spirit and attacking spirit is contagious in our locker room. If called upon to start or come off the bench, he will be ready and he will perform.

"He's a heck of a player, and we would not be where we are today if it wasn't for Jarrett Jack. So fasten your seat beat and enjoy the ride. He embodies everything that we are."