Jazz have new life after convincing Game Three victory

May 27, 2007 - 7:06 AM By PA SportsTicker

The Utah Jazz are back in business after a decisive 109-83 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference finals on Saturday.

The 26-point blowout was a much-needed lift for a team that appeared overwhelmed in losing the first two games of the best-of-seven series in San Antonio.

The Jazz continue to play their best basketball on at home, where they are 7-0 this postseason. If that's not enough for the Spurs to think about, Utah is 9-0 at home all-time in playoff games against San Antonio.

The Jazz will look to keep that perfect record intact and even the series when the teams meet in Game Four here on Monday.

Tony Parker, who led the Spurs with 25 points in Game Three, acknowledged that this is not the setting to be making mistakes.

"We need to do a better job to try to control the ball and make better decisions, because on the road, you know, you're going to pay," Parker said. "They got a lot of fast, big points, easy points from our turnovers. We need to take care of the ball, especially on the road."

Game Three appeared to be going the way of the first two games of the series as the Jazz shot 7-of-21 from the floor and fell behind, 23-15, after one quarter.

However, Spurs superstar center Tim Duncan picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter and played just 12 minutes in the first half, scoring four points.

The Jazz took advantage and closed the gap to 47-43 by halftime. That was a good sign 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 Duncan's playing time limited, the Jazz blew the game open in the second half by outscoring the Spurs, 66-36. Deron Williams scored 31 points and Carlos Boozer added 27 in the win.

Like the Jazz, the Cleveland Cavaliers hope some home cooking will help them get on track Sunday when they host the Detroit Pistons in Game Three of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Cavaliers dropped the first two games of the series in Detroit by identical scores of 79-76.

Rasheed Wallace collected 16 points and Jason Maxiell added 15 points off the bench for the Pistons in the Game Two victory.

Cleveland's LeBron James, who averaged a team-high 27.3 points per game during the regular season, was held to 19 points in Game Two after scoring just 10 points in the series opener.

James was criticized after Game One for his passive play down the stretch, taking just three shots in the fourth quarter. Trailing by two with 5 seconds left in that contest, the superstar forward drove to the hoop before passing to Donyell Marshall, who missed an open 3-pointer from the corner.

Though James finished 7-of-19 shooting in Game Two, he appeared to make a concerted effort to take the ball to the basket.






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