Parker leads Spurs past Jazz 91-82
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)
The Utah Jazz found out what happens when you upset Tony Parker.
After he was stripped by recent Utah signee Diante Garrett on what looked like a sure-thing fast-break layup in the third quarter, Parker turned the tables and made the Jazz pay in the fourth quarter.
''I was so hot after that play. I was so mad at myself. I can't even remember the last time that happened to me,'' said Parker, who scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to rally the San Antonio Spurs to a 91-82 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
''I was super mad, but I was very happy Coach put me in to start the fourth quarter. Sitting on the bench after that play, I could not wait to come back in. It really got me going,'' the five-time All-Star said.
Boris Diaw scored a season-high 17 points and Tim Duncan added 14 to help the Spurs run their winning streak to seven in a game that matched the team with the best record in the Western Conference against the team with worst mark in the league.
The Jazz took a 67-60 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Spurs started doing what they do best - driving the lane for layups or hitting the spot-up shooters in the short corners.
''Just missed a lot of shots tonight. We let them get back into it right at the beginning of the fourth and they just took over. Definitely frustrating,'' said Hayward, who shot 5 for 23.
Danny Green hit two 3-pointers, Diaw hit another and Parker converted a three-point play in the first two minutes of the final period to give the Spurs their first lead since the opening quarter.
''What was important about that stretch is we got some stops. That allowed us to get out in transition and get open looks. Some of them finally dropped for us so that was a good pickup for the whole group,'' Green said.
Although it was San Antonio's fifth game in seven nights, the Spurs were stronger down the stretch. The Jazz were flying all over the court but couldn't hit their shots (7 for 25 on field goals in the fourth quarter), while the Spurs let Parker go to work penetrating, passing and scoring.
''Because I haven't been playing in fourth quarters the last few games, I was super-fresh,'' Parker said. ''I was trying to be aggressive and make things happen. I was not very happy with my performance to that point.''
After that point, his performance was scintillating. Parker hit a free throw to give the Spurs an 83-75 lead with 4:38 remaining and the Jazz never got closer.
''We use the first three quarters to learn and see what we need to adjust. Then the fourth quarter comes around and we know exactly what we want to do and we have the right set of guys on the floor that are willing to do it,'' Duncan said.
Utah outrebounded San Antonio 50-43 and had 20 second-chance points to two for the Spurs, but shot 38.5 percent in the game.
After Utah jetted to a 29-14 lead after one quarter, Diaw scored 10 points to draw the Spurs within 40-37 in the second.
''I felt we needed a little bit of energy to match the way they came out so strong,'' Diaw said. ''So I went inside because we were not making shots from the outside.''
Alec Burks, who has played almost exclusively at the 2-guard, started at the point and got into foul trouble guarding Parker and finished with 12 points.
The Jazz were the last team in the league to get its first win when they defeated New Orleans 111-105 Wednesday, but the fourth-quarter touch they enjoyed in that one was not apparent Friday.
The Spurs ''are experienced in closing games out. I thought their defense picked up, but we had some good looks and missed some good shots,'' said Utah coach Ty Corbin, who has the worst shooting team in the NBA.
Duncan was averaging 7.0 points on 5-of-27 shooting in his last three games, but played a season-high 34 minutes against Utah and had nine rebounds and three blocked shots.
San Antonio allows fewer than 90 points per game and became extra stingy, continually denying Jazz forays to the hoop at the end.
''It took a little longer to get there. But we ground it out and found a way to get the tides to turn,'' Duncan said.
NOTES: After Duncan was rejected by Favors on one play and then aggressively defended by the Utah forward on another in the first half, he vehemently complained to official Scott Wall and received a technical foul. ... Marvin Williams had his nose broken when Duncan accidentally smacked him in the first half and then wore a goggle mask for much of the second half. ... The Spurs had 22 fast-break points to 10 for Utah.