Sunday , May , 27 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Different tune: Jazz blow past Spurs

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Deron Williams scored 31 points, and
Utah used a dominant second half, putting Tim Duncan in foul trouble to beat
the San Antonio Spurs, 109-83, avoiding a huge hole in the Western Conference
finals, and at the same time remaining perfect at home in the playoffs.

The Jazz outscored the Spurs, 66-36, in the second half, and shot 64 percent
(25-of-39) from the field over the final 24 minutes.

Carlos Boozer tallied 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz, who are 7-0 at
Energy Solutions Arena in the postseason. They are also 9-0 all-time at home
against the Spurs in the playoffs.

“We just needed one game, just one game to get our confidence back,” Williams
said. “One game of playing great basketball for 48 minutes. I think we did
that tonight. We went out and executed well, defended well for a full 48
minutes.”

The latest home win moved the Jazz within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, and
they can square it in Game 4 Monday, also in Salt Lake City.

Duncan, who picked up three fouls in the opening half and was saddled with his
fifth with 7:35 left in the game, ended with 16 points and eight rebounds, but
also had eight of his team’s 20 turnovers. Tony Parker scored 25 and dished
out seven assists in a losing cause.

“All three games we had a hard time to keep our turnovers down,” Parker said.
“We need to do a better job to try to control the ball and make better
decisions, because on the road, it is going to pay. They got a lot of fast,
big points, easy points from our turnovers. We need to take care of the ball,
especially on the road. At home it didn’t hurt us that much, but now we can
see we need to do a better job with that.”

Utah didn’t lead in the second half in each of the first two games, but pulled
away late in the third and continued to pour it on in the fourth.

A Parker layup gave the Spurs a 60-59 lead midway through the third, but the
Jazz responded with seven straight points, capped by a pair of free throws
from Jarron Collins. The Jazz didn’t trail the rest of the way.

Paul Millsap’s layup extended the lead to 75-67 at the end of the third
quarter, and he was instrumental early in the fourth with a pair of layups and
a dunk. Derek Fisher’s three-point play moved the cushion to 86-72 and
Williams used a crossover dribble to score for a 90-74 lead.

A layup by Boozer, off a feed from Williams, made it 92-74, and the Spurs
called a timeout, essentially waving the white surrender flag as the capacity
crowd went into a frenzy.

Matt Bonner, who was trying to set a screen, collided into Williams’s back
with 3:10 left. Williams remained on the floor for a couple of minutes before
walking off the court under his own power. Williams suffered a stinger to his
neck, but it wasn’t considered serious.

Williams had eight assists and five steals, while Fisher and Gordan Giricek
each chipped in 11 points for Utah.

Manu Ginobili had 14 points for the Spurs, who shot 43.8 percent from the
floor, but went 11-of-28 in the second half.

The Spurs raced to a 13-4 lead, as Ginobili capped the flurry with a three,
and the visitors held a 23-15 edge after 12 minutes. San Antonio led the
entire second period and were up 47-43 at the break. The Spurs were in front
despite Duncan getting his third foul with 5:54 left in the half, a juncture
in which they were ahead, 32-28. However, the defense of Mehmet Okur on Duncan
had a big effect in Game 3.

“I think Duncan didn’t have one of his better games, in all fairness to him,
because he is a great player,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “But we had to try
to take advantage of it when we get an opportunity, and fortunately we were
able to win the ball game. And Mehmet struggled a great deal with his game as
well.”

Okur was held scoreless and had four rebounds, but his defense proved to be
more important.

“Mehmet did an excellent job,” Duncan acknowledged. “As I said, he was very
good at keeping a hand in there and he got some deflections. All in all, he
did a pretty decent job.”

Game Notes

The Jazz are attempting to become the 19th team in NBA history to overcome an
0-2 deficit to win a playoff series, and they did it in the conference
quarterfinals against Houston this year…Utah was 6-of-9 from three-point
range and ended at 53.2 percent shooting overall…Spurs center Fabricio
Oberto suffered a sprained right thumb.

SAN UTA