Monday , May , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Utah tries to even series with Spurs at two games apiece

(Sports Network) – The Utah Jazz try to even the Western Conference finals at
two games apiece, as they host the San Antonio Spurs tonight at
EnergySolutions Arena.

On Saturday, Deron Williams scored 31 points, and No. 4 Utah used a dominant
second half, putting Tim Duncan in foul trouble to beat the third-seeded
Spurs, 109-83, in Game 3 at EnergySolutions Arena. 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 of the contest.

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

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 the Spurs’ 20 turnovers. Tony Parker scored 25 and dished
out seven assists in defeat.

Utah has won two straight Game 4s in the postseason, while the Spurs have
dropped six of their last seven Game 4s.

Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled for Wednesday at the AT&T

This is the fourth time that these teams have met in the playoffs. The Jazz
are 3-0 against San Antonio in the postseason. Utah defeated the Spurs, 3-1,
in the first round of the 1994 playoffs, and in the semifinals in 1996, 4-2,
and 1998, 4-1.

San Antonio has advanced to the Western Conference finals for the eighth time
in franchise history. The Spurs played the Lakers in 1982, 1983 and 2001,
Houston in 1995, Portland in 1999, Dallas in 2003 and Phoenix in 2005. San
Antonio is 3-4 in this round.

The Spurs, who lost in seven to the Dallas Mavericks in last year’s
semifinals, knocked out No. 6 Denver in five games in the opening round and
survived a tough six-game series with the second-seeded Suns in the semis.
San Antonio is in the postseason for the 10th straight year, and has won three
of the last eight NBA championships.

The Jazz have returned to the West finals for the first time since 1998, when
they swept the Lakers, 4-0. They are 2-3 in the conference finals.
Utah also defeated the Houston Rockets in six in 1997, and lost to Seattle,
4-3, in 1996, the Rockets, 4-1, in 1994 and in 1992 to Portland, 4-2.

Utah defeated the fifth-seeded Rockets in seven games in the first round and
eliminated No. 8 Golden State in round two. The Jazz ended a three-year
playoff drought by qualifying for this year’s postseason. Prior to the
2006-07 campaign, the Jazz last appeared in the playoffs in 2003 when they
were eliminated in five games by the Sacramento Kings in the opening round.