Jazz Spurs Western Conference Finals   
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Some have said that home cooking is not much of a factor in the later rounds of the playoffs, but the Utah Jazz would tend to disagree. The Jazz pounded the Spurs 109-83 to get back into the series. The Jazz were trying to avoid going down 0-3, the Spurs were trying to win in Salt Lake City for the first time ever in the playoffs.

Getting blown out in Salt Lake City in the playoffs is nothing new for the Spurs franchise, of the nine games played in Salt Lake City eight have been Jazz victories of 10 or more points, and only 2 have of the games have been under 5 points; both in 1998.

Utah was trying to find something to get them back into the series after getting pounded in both games in San Antonio. Utah had struggled severely in the second quarter in both games, which would prove to be the deciding factor in both games.

The Game started out with the Spurs going on a tear, much like they had in the previous two games in the second quarter. The Spurs built up a quick nine point lead before a Jarron Collins three point play. Collins who had seen fewer than 10 combined minutes in the last seven games would play a huge factor for the Jazz by getting Tim Duncan into foul trouble.

Foul Trouble would plague both Tim Duncan and Utah’s Mehmet Okur. With Duncan on the bench the Jazz made their first attempted comeback of the game and would cut the Spurs lead to five with just a few seconds to go in the first quarter.

Utah’s offense struggled mightily in the first quarter, managing a playoff low of 15 points. The Jazz did manage to score four points in the final minute of the quarter to cut the Spurs lead to 20-15, but Brent Barrys three near the end of the quarter would put the Spurs up eight.

The second quarter had been detrimental to the Jazz in the previous two games. So when the Jazz came out struggling many fans were getting nervous of yet another Spurs run. But the Jazz would finally find their groove in the second quarter and after a Gordon Giricek three pointer cut the Spurs lead to one.

Foul trouble would once again cause Tim Duncan to leave the game early. Duncan was also frustrated by both Mehmet Okur and Jarron Collins. Utah was also able to prevent Manu Ginobili from penetrating into the lane and kicking out for open threes. This was something that had hurt Utah in the previous games and even into the middle part of the second quarter, but by stopping this they forced the Spurs offense to go sour.

The Spur lead by four points going into the locker room, which was a huge turn around for the Jazz from the previous games where they were down 18 and 17 points at the half.

Utah would come out in the second half by going to their all-star Carlos Boozer. Boozers play in the paint lead to many lay-ups for the Jazz, it also created open jump shots for Deron Williams and Derek Fisher, which they both would hit as the Jazz would bring the game to within one point.

After Andrei Kirilenko hit one of two free throws, the Spurs lead by one. The Spurs would miss their next shot, the Jazz would go into Boozer who hit a turn around fade-away jumper giving the Jazz their first lead of the game, and their first lead outside the first quarter in the series.

The teams would trade baskets until the Spurs lead 60-59. Then Derek Fisher would hit a three pointer from the left corner giving the Jazz a 62-60 lead, a lead which they would never relinquish.

The Jazz continued to pour it on the Spurs as the third quarter continued. The Spurs would cut a six-point Jazz lead to three after Robert Horry hit a three pointer, his first points of the series.

Foul trouble would once again force Tim Duncan to the bench, and without their living legend the Spurs would find themselves in a world of hurt.

The end of the third and beginning of the fourth was the Paul Millsap show. Millsap would score eight points for the Jazz as they Jazz turned a six-point lead into a 12-point lead.

The Spurs offense was nearly none existent in the 4th quarter as the Jazz ran away with the game. Utah hit nearly everything from the field to build up a 26-point lead.

Notes:

Deron Williams, who has been averaging 30 points and nine assists in this series, had 31 points, eight assists, and five steals for the Jazz. Carlos Boozer finished with 27 points and 12 boards. Tony Parker lead the Spurs with 25 points and seven assists. Tim Duncan finished with 16 points, eight boards, and eight turnovers.

The series is now two games to one in favor of the Spurs. Utah has been down 0-2 once before in this years playoffs, in the first round they trailed the Houston Rockets 0-2 but would go on to win the series in seven games. This was only the second round loss of the playoffs for the Spurs. Their only other road loss came at Phoenix in game two of their western semifinal.

  • Pictures from the game