Jazz glad to be back home in Western Conference finals

May 26, 2007 - 1:53 PM By PA SportsTicker

The Utah Jazz are 6-0 at home in the playoffs. They will need to remain perfect in order to get even with the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.

Seeking their third NBA title in five years and fourth in nine years, the Spurs took a 2-0 lead in the series with home wins on Sunday and Tuesday.

The Jazz will host Game Three on Saturday and Game Four on Monday.

Utah coach Jerry Sloan spent the last few days accentuating defense in practices and film sessions. The Spurs shot 55 percent from the field and averaged 106.5 points in the first two games.

"We have to pick it up defensively," said Jazz All-Star forward Carlos Boozer. "They're scoring too easily. They run their offense fast and crisp. If you make little mistakes, they exploit that."

Utah couldn't figure out how to stop penetration from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in the first two games.

"We're letting them (Parker and Ginobili) get into the lane too easily," Jazz point guard Deron Williams said. "We obviously have to change that. The crowd will be behind us for the next two games so that should help us a lot."

But the Spurs do not get rattled as evidenced by their 4-1 road record in the playoffs.

Since the 1998 playoffs - superstar forward Tim Duncan's first - the Spurs are 11-1 all-time when they take a 2-0 lead in a series.

Duncan collected 26 points and 14 rebounds in the Spurs' 105-96 triumph in Game Two. Parker had 17 points and a career playoff-high 14 assists and Ginobili also scored 17 points for San Antonio, which made a club playoff record 13 shots from 3-point range.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is tied with Sloan for sixth place on the all-time playoff list with 86 wins.

Utah bounced back in the first round to beat Houston in seven games after losing the first two games on the road. The Jazz also won both of their regular-season home games against the Spurs.

The top-seeded Detroit Pistons may be on a collision course with the Spurs in the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

Detroit posted 79-76 wins in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The series shifts to Cleveland for Game Three on Sunday night.

San Antonio beat the Pistons, 4-3, in the 2005 NBA Finals.






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