Duncan, Spurs grab 2-0 lead in West finals
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan scored 26 points, ripped down 14
rebounds and blocked five shots as the San Antonio Spurs held off the Utah
Jazz, 105-96, to take a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each scored 17 points while Parker dished out a
playoff career-high 14 assists for the Spurs, who now lead the series 2-0.
“(Utah) did a great job on our pick-and-rolls as far as keeping Tony out of
the deal,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. “But he was smart enough to
move the basketball and get other people involved and that ball movement
helped us out.”
Game 2 followed the same format as the series opener, as San Antonio took
control with a dominant second quarter and withstood a late Utah rally for the
Carlos Boozer poured in 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Deron Williams
contributed 26 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who have lost 18 straight
overall in San Antonio.
Game 3 of this best-of-seven series is Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena.
“We’ve lost two games there this year,” said Duncan. “And they haven’t lost a
game in the playoffs there (6-0). We understand that they are going to use
that crowd’s energy. They will be a lot more confident playing in that
building and we are going to have to bring a much better effort than we had
here to beat those guys. So we are going to go in there and try to get that
first game and really put the pressure on them.”
Down by 16 heading into the final quarter, Boozer opened the fourth quarter
with a three-point play and Paul Millsap and Derek Fisher followed with back-
to-back layups to bring Utah within nine, 81-72.
Two Andrei Kirilenko free throws then made it a seven-point game before San
Antonio went on a 10-2 run, featuring two straight threes by Bruce Bowen, to
open up a 93-78 lead on Michael Finley’s dunk with just over six minutes to
Another three-point play by Boozer made it a 10-point game with 4 1/2 minutes
left on the clock, but a Duncan layup followed by Bowen’s third trey of the
quarter push the Spurs’ lead back up to 98-83. The Jazz were unable to get
back within single digits until Williams’ jumper with eight seconds remaining.
“Every time we started making a run, they made a (three-pointer). They made a
big basket,” said Williams. “(Brent) Barry, Finley, stepped up and hit shots,
Tony Parker in the fourth quarter. It definitely hurt us. We didn’t do a good
job of defending the three tonight and it cost us.”
Holding a slim 26-24 lead after the opening 12 minutes, the Spurs outscored
Utah 32-17 in the second quarter en route to a 17-point halftime lead.
A Barry three followed by a running jumper by Parker pushed San
Antonio’s lead to 42-31 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter. Boozer
answered with a three-point play, but Barry and Finley nailed back-to-back
treys to make it 48-34 San Antonio with just under four minutes to play.
A Mehmet Okur three-pointer brought Utah back within 11, but the Spurs scored
the final six points of the first half, including Barry’s trey with 8.1
seconds remaining, to take a 58-41 lead into the locker room.
A 9-2 spurt, capped by a Finley trey, pushed San Antonio’s lead to 22 with
just under eight minutes left in the third before Utah finally responded. The
Jazz ripped off an 11-1 run and pulled within 12, 72-60, on Williams’ reverse
layup with 3:45 left in the third.
A Kirilenko jumper with 1:35 to play made it an 11-point game, but
Ginobili answered with a layup and a three-pointer with just .6 seconds left
on the clock to give the Spurs a 81-65 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz are just 2-6 on the road in the playoffs… San Antonio improved to
6-2 at the AT&T Center in the postseason…Kirilenko finished with 15 points
and Okur had 11 for Utah… Fabricio Oberto scored 14 points and grabbed seven
rebounds for the Spurs.