Duncan, Spurs hold off JazzJan 28, 2009 - 6:30 AM By Tony Pizza PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- The Utah Jazz showed heart, then the San Antonio Spurs showed why they are former NBA champions.
Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each scored 24 points, and Duncan was just one rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double as the Spurs broke a five-game regular season losing streak at EnergySolutions Arena by claiming Tuesday's 106-100 win over the Jazz.
It was San Antonio's first win here since April 4, 2006, and fifth for the Spurs in six games.
All five starters scored in double figures for Utah, which was led by Ronnie Brewer's 23 but lost its fourth straight game, including its second at home. The Jazz now are on their longest losing streak since December 2007.
Despite the contest being played by two teams moving in opposite directions, the game was competitive throughout.
"It was a hard fought, physical game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Both teams competed very physically. We were fortunate enough to be there at the end and got a win."
It wasn't until Kyle Korver air-balled a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left after Manu Ginobili was called for an offensive foul on an inbounds play that the Spurs could rest easy.
"I thought our guys played extremely hard," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We made some mistakes, got lost a couple times defensively in what we were really trying to do, and they made some plays to come up with the basketball as we came down the stretch."
Deron Williams finished with 19 points and 13 assists for his 19th double-double of the season and Mehmet Okur finished with 22 and 17 rebounds, including three free throws with 25 seconds left after Duncan fouled him on a 3-point shot attempt bringing Utah to within 100-98.
Ginobili calmly sank two of his 13 points from the free-throw line, boosting the Spurs' lead to four. Ginobili finished 11-of-12 from the line on the night, including several perfect trips late in the game.
"Manu is an important part of us winning basketball games," Popovich said. "He went to the free-throw line. He was aggressive and got to the line, got fouled and made his shots."
It was Matt Bonner, however, that threatened to sink Utah early.
Bonner started the game 5-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points. His 3-pointer just before the end of the second quarter gave San Antonio momentum that it was able to sustain through halftime.
Williams turned the ball over after Tony Parker looked to push him out of bounds with less than two seconds left. Bonner then hit his third 3-pointer of the second quarter and fourth of the first half to give San Antonio a 50-49 lead going into the break.
The half did not cool Bonner - or the Spurs - off.
After Parker and Williams traded baskets to start the second half, the Spurs went on a 14-4 run on the back of a 3-point party hosted by Bonner and Roger Mason. The pair hit two strikes from beyond the arc, and Duncan capped off the run with a dunk, giving San Antonio a 68-57 lead.
"They often shoot the ball out on the perimeter, they've got a great post-up player, makes it very difficult to guard him 1-on-1," Sloan said. "They just killed us with their ability to shoot the basketball out on the perimeter."
The Jazz, however, refused to wilt.
Okur sparked a 13-5 run with a putback dunk with 6:28 left in the third quarter and bookended the effort with a nifty pass to Brewer for a dunk, which tied the game at 73-73.
"You know the chances that they will come back in a game are high, so you just have to keep playing 48 minutes," Ginobili said.
Utah missed five straight shots early in the fourth quarter, and San Antonio was able to extend its lead to eight, which turned out to be just enough for the Spurs to hold on down the stretch.
"We had a pretty good start, but at the same time, we didn't get the defensive stops that we wanted to," Brewer said. "We were in the game, but San Antonio is a tough veteran team."
The win put the Spurs at 1-1 since stepping off on a stretch that will see them play 12 of 13 games on the road.
The loss was the Jazz's first at home to a Western Conference opponent. Utah is now 5-5 against the East at home and 12-1 against the West.
SAN ANTONIO 107
UTAH 100 FINAL
Jan 27 11:27 PM
SAN ANTONIO 80
UTAH 80 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 27 10:48 PM
SAN ANTONIO 50
UTAH 49 HALFTIME
Jan 27 10:07 PM
SAN ANTONIO 25
UTAH 28 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 27 9:35 PM
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