for this game

Big second half leads Jazz past Spurs in Game Three

May 27, 2007 - 5:24 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz continue to have success on their home floor this postseason.

Deron Williams scored 31 points and Carlos Boozer added 27, including 10 in a decisive third quarter, as the Jazz throttled the San Antonio Spurs, 109-83, on Saturday in Game Three of the Western Conference finals.

Derek Fisher and Gordan Giricek added 11 points apiece for the Jazz, who improved to 7-0 at home in the playoffs and cut the Spurs' best-of-seven series lead to 2-1. Game Four will be played here on Monday.

"I think we have a lot of confidence at home. We have that crowd behind us," Williams said. "We went out and executed well for a full 48 minutes. Not 28 minutes, not 32 minutes, for the full 48, and that's why we won."

Tony Parker had a team-high 25 points for San Antonio, which is seeking its third NBA Finals appearance in the last five years.

"We played well for a quarter. I thought we matched their energy and physicality for a quarter and at that point they upped the stakes in that area and we folded, both mentally and physically," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "And the consequence was getting our butts kicked in a lot of different ways. I'm not concerned about momentum, I'm concerned about playing better."

Fisher said Williams' presence is elevating the play of the entire team.

"In my career I haven't seen many guys in their second year have the kind of impact that (Williams is) having and that's not to take away from what other great players have done in this game," Fisher said. "You think about Deron's development from year one to year two, not just statistically what he's doing, but his composure, his poise and his decision-making. He's leading our team."

With Spurs superstar Tim Duncan in foul trouble for most of the game, the Jazz took advantage, staying close in the first half before blowing the game open in the second half.

"We did a pretty good job in the first quarter and outside of that, I don't think we had a very good quarter from there on," Duncan said. "They just had things happening for them, and I give them a lot of credit."

After spotting San Antonio an eight-point lead through one quarter, the Jazz trailed, 47-43, at halftime. It was a victory of a sorts for the Jazz, considering they had trailed by 18 at the half of Game One and by 17 at the midway point of Game Two.

With Utah leading, 62-60, with 5:44 to play in the third, Duncan was called for his fourth foul as he drove to the basket against Jarron Collins. He was immediately replaced by Fabricio Oberto.

With Duncan out of the game, the Jazz took advantage and never looked back, finishing the quarter on a 13-7 run to take a 75-67 lead.

"We were aggressive (in the third quarter). We attacked," Boozer said. "Everybody came out ready. Me and D-Will (Williams), we said if we attack and be aggressive, good things would happen for the team and that's what's happened."

Duncan started the fourth but that did not slow Utah's momentum.

Back-to-back baskets by Paul Millsap, including a thunderous dunk, extended the advantage to 83-71 early in the fourth and gave the Jazz their largest lead of the series.

"We wanted to turn up the tempo tonight and then try to get out and run," Millsap said. "So that's what we did - we tried to get them tired."

The Jazz, who never led in the second half during the first two games of the series, outscored the Spurs, 66-36, in the second half.

"We have a team where if we have everybody on the same page, we can be very good," Boozer said. "If we have a couple of players on page 23 and some players on page 18, we will be a step behind."

The turning point in the game may have come in the first half, however.

Duncan picked up his third foul with 5:54 to play in the second quarter and saw no further action the rest of the half. The center had just four points - all coming in the first quarter - in 12 first-half minutes. He finished the game with 16 points.

Duncan credited Utah's Mehmet Okur with a playing a sound defensive game.

"He caused some turnovers. Whether it be more active or just (getting) his hands on the ball, whatever it may be, he did a much better job," he said.

Led by Parker's six points, the Spurs led, 23-15, after the opening quarter. The Jazz were outrebounded by the Jazz, 13-5, in the first and shot 7-of-21 from the field.

However, Utah bounced back to outscore the Spurs, 28-24, in the second behind nine points from Williams.

"I'm having fun right now. That's the main part," Williams said. "A lot of people haven't seen us play all year, you know. We didn't have that many games on TV. So for them to see us play now and see that we are a real team, we're young, (and) we should be around for a couple of years."

    UTAH 109 FINAL

    May 26 11:34 PM

    UTAH 75 END, 3RD QTR

    May 26 10:29 PM


    May 26 9:40 PM

    UTAH 15 END, 1ST QTR

    May 26 9:00 PM
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    mark Added 5 roots

    Spurs vs. JazzMay 26 3:36 AM