NBA Game Summary - Utah at San Antonio
(Saturday, December 31st)
Final Score: San Antonio 104, Utah 89
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili hit five three-pointers and scored 23 points, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-89 victory over the Utah Jazz at AT&T Center.
"I didn't force the shots. I was just open and I made them. It was a good night," said Ginobili.
DeJuan Blair contributed a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Tony Parker netted 14 points and dished out eight assists for the Spurs, who improved to 3-1 on the young season. Tim Duncan finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio.
San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich notched his 800th career win, all with the Spurs. In his 16th season as head coach of the team he is second to Utah's Jerry Sloan, who recorded 1,096 wins over his 22-year tenure as the Jazz's coach, for most coaching wins with one franchise.
Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Josh Howard finished with 18 points and seven boards off the bench for Utah, which was unable to carry momentum from a 102-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
San Antonio took off early, jumping out to an 11-4 lead five minutes into the game before the run was stopped by a putback dunk by Paul Millsap. A jumper by Parker with 3:14 to go in the first stanza put the Spurs up nine and they held a 23-18 edge after one quarter.
The Spurs stretched their lead to 13 on eight straight points by Ginobili early in the second quarter and after a couple of buckets by Jefferson cut the deficit to nine, San Antonio responded with a 12-4 spurt to go up 17, 45-28, with 5:26 left before halftime.
Utah then went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to eight, but again the Spurs had an answer, scoring the next five points to push the lead to 50-37 with 2:41 remaining.
The Spurs shot 61 percent in the second stanza and took a 15-point advantage, 54-39, into the locker room at the break.
In the third quarter, San Antonio continued to make shots, shooting 53 percent from the floor. They led by double-digits the entire 12 minutes and a jumper by Duncan in the final minute gave the Spurs a 24-point bulge, 82-58. They led 83-60 after three quarters.
The final quarter followed the same theme, as the Spurs led by double-digits the rest of the way, despite being outscored 29-21 in the quarter. They led by as many as 27 down the stretch and coasted to the easy win.
"It's a tough loss today, but you just got to get ready to turn the page and get ready for the next game," Jefferson said.
San Antonio leads the all-time series between the teams, 88-72...San Antonio shot 49 percent from the floor and 63 percent from beyond the arc, while Utah shot 37 percent from the floor and just 2-of-16 from three-point range...San Antonio outrebounded Utah, 46-44...Millsap ended with eight points and seven rebounds...Howard was whistled for a flagrant foul in the third quarter.
01/01 03:14:15 ET