The Spurs jumped on the early getting out to a 15-4 lead. The closest the Jazz ever got was five in the second quarter at 31-16. From that point, the Spurs closed the half on a 22-2 run. The 114-83 score isn’t as close as it sounds.
The Jazz had two first half stretches of two minutes where they scored on four straight possessions. They scored 18 points in those two stretches. They scored 10 points in the other 20 minutes. This game was about the Spurs defense. It shut down the Jazz and created easy offense in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Spurs offense took over and ended the game early as the bench cleaned up in the fourth. The Spurs were up 74-40 with 4:15 to go in the third.
Song of the Game: Love Throws A Line by Patty Griffin
The little redhead is a spitfire of singer. I love her stuff all the way back to Flaming Red (truly fantastic album). This one, “Love Throws A Line” has a great stomping beat. I love almost all Patty’s songs that are up tempo. This is one.
Play of the Game: Danny Green To Kawhi Leonard Layup
Al Jefferson grabbed a defensive rebound near the free throw line, took a dribble toward mid-court, and tried to pass to Paul Millsap when he saw that Devin Harris was covered. The ball was deflected by Kawhi and a scrum ensued. Kawhi, of course, came up with the ball near our defensive 3-pt line and scooped it up to Danny Green near half court. Danny race up the sideline and then threw a pass, I believe it was intended for Tony, that hit Kawhi coming down the lane and Kawhi jumped, brought the ball down low to go under Josh Howard, and scooped it into the bucket.
There wasn’t anything spectacular about it, but it highlighted everything those two did tonight. A deflection, a loose ball, a steal, an assist, and a fast break layup.
Trending Up: Spurs Defense
Our defense really carried us in the first half while our half court offense struggled to get going, a bit. Tony, Tim, and Manu weren’t having a great half on the offensive end and were getting zero calls. To the rescue came our defense, creating easy offense, and the shooting of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. We ended with 29 fast break points and I’ll bet you most of them were in the first half.
We clogged the paint on the Jazz while, at the same time, managing to challenge a lot of passes and dribbles. The Jazz spent most of the first three quarters shooting long twos and contested short jumpers. And, consequently, under 30%. We gave them very little headed toward the basket. When they managed to get the ball inside of 10 feet, they would have to pull up and shoot as the driving lanes were non-existent.
Trending Down: Manu, Of All People. And The Jazz
Manu had his second off game in a row. At the half, Manu had as many turnovers as points and assists combined. He just couldn’t get anything going. Passes were slipping out of his hands or were flying out of bounds or hitting DeJuan in the shins. But, like Manu does, he didn’t quit working on the defensive end. He had a couple nice steals and a great block.
Wow. The Jazz laid an egg and nobody laid a bigger egg than Devin Harris. He’s been awful in this series and, home court or not, he’ll have to play much better for the Jazz to compete in any of these games. So far he has scored 12 points on 5-16 shooting. In two games. He has 7 turnovers and 3 assists. He has more turnovers than assists in each game.
For all the talk about the Jazz bigs, Jefferson and Millsap haven’t been that dominant. They combined for 9 boards in this one. The Spurs starters out rebounded the Jazz starters 30-16 in slightly fewer minutes. The rebounding would have been pretty lopsided in this game if not for a big garbage time edge for the Jazz of 14-7. After three quarters, the Spurs were up 37-29 on the glass.
In addition, Al Jefferson is 13-31 from the field and has attempted one free throw in the two games.
Stat of the Game: Boris Diaw + 41
The Spurs starters +/- were silly. +34, +31, +41, +36, +36. Boris with a +41 tells you just how well he played. He just makes things happen out there. Good things. His 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists only begin to tell the story. When Boris is on the floor, the Spurs get good looks at the basket.
Stat of the Game #2: 16-21, 7-11
16-21 is what the non-Tim and non-Tony starters shot from the floor. 7-11 is what those same guys shot from 3-pt. Danny Green had most of the misses. He was 5-8 from the floor and 3-5 from deep. Boris was 5-6 and 1-2. Kawhi was 6-7 and 3-4.
Stat of the Game #3: Points in the Paint
The Spurs dominated this one 62-36 and it wasn’t that close. Going into the fourth quarter it was 42-18 (roughly). Through two games it is 120-80.
We have completely dismantled the Jazz, but we have only won two home games. We’ve done the exact same thing the Thunder have done. I think Game 3 will be a good test. It should be the absolute best the Jazz have to offer. Let’s see if we can take their best shot and grind one out.
If there is a basketball god. Or a god of any sort who likes basketball. Then he will make sure that Boris Diaw plays the next couple years in San Antonio. I don’t believe there is anything more beautiful in basketball than having that man on the court with Tony, Tim, and Manu. Seriously, I don’t think a more beautiful game gets played in the NBA.
I think Manu needs to take a step back and start making the simple play. I think he is coming off the bench and trying to make great plays. The great assist, the great pass, etc. He needs to make the simple play. That’s the best way to get your rhythm back. He seems to be forcing things.
I love what Patrick Mills gives us as a back up point guard. I really hope he stays with us and gets a good year in the system. He could be a great contributor in the playoffs next year. His pull up three point shot on the kick out is top-notch.
Tiago sat with his wrist injury. They are now calling it a bone bruise. Matt didn’t play in the second half. I think he took a shot to the thigh trying to take the charge from Favors. Matt didn’t score and didn’t get a rebound. He took a 3 and got a foul. Those were his only contributions to the stat line.
We only got to the line 10 times in this game. I really felt like we didn’t get calls. I don’t think the refs were bad, really. I just felt like things never got called our way. When our guys got fouled lightly, the refs weren’t in position to see it. When we fouled them lightly, they were. That kind of thing. It will be interesting to see how things go in game three in Utah. I think we’ll need to force the action a little more.
An oddity. At the half, the Spurs had two players in double figures. Danny Green with 13 and Kawhi Leonard with 12. No Jazz player scored more than 10 tonight.
The Spurs have now won 12 straight games. Pop ended the other two 11 game streaks by sitting the big 3. Not tonight.