Spurs eliminate the Jazz in NBA PLayoffs
The San Antonio Spurs edged past the Utah Jazz last night to book their place in the NBA Playoffs conference semi-finals and eliminate the Jazz 4-0.
San Antonio completed their four game rout, thanks to a balanced attack that saw five players score double figures.
Manu Ginobili scored a team-high 17 points and Tim Duncan had 11 points and five rebounds for the top-seeded Spurs, who went on a 20-2 scoring run in the second half to seize command of game four in their Western Conference series.
“We didn’t lose our composure. That was great,” Duncan said. “We used the clock when we could. We took advantage of plays when we had to and found a way to close it out.”
In the other Western game, Chris Paul dominated in overtime as the Los Angeles Clippers moved to the brink of advancing to the second round with a 101-97 win over Memphis.
The Clippers lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and can close it out with a win in game five on Wednesday in Memphis.
In Utah, France’s Tony Parker had 11 points for the Spurs, while Gary Neal also had 11 and Tiago Splitter contributed 10.
For the Jazz, Al Jefferson tallied a game-high 26 points, Devin Harris had 19 and Derrick Favors finished with 16 points and 10 boards.
“It was a good experience, going out there, playing against the Spurs,” Favors said. “It was a challenge.”
San Antonio won 21 of their last 23 regular season games as they surpassed the Oklahoma City Thunder to become the West’s top seed.
The Spurs shot 10-of-22 from beyond the arc, while the Jazz failed on all 13 of their three-point attempts.
San Antonio went on a scoring run in the fourth and then had to hold on at the end as Utah mustered a spirited rally of their own. The Jazz got within four points at 83-79 with less than a minute remaining.
But Ginobili helped seal the victory with an uncontested lay-up in the last minute after Utah’s Paul Millsap bobbled a pass leading to a turnover.
Utah made the postseason as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They were one of the youngest teams in the playoffs with seven players under the age of 26.
“I think it was a good learning experience for us,” said Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.
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