Duncan, Parker lead streaking San Antonio past Jazz 100-84
Ty Corbin paraphrased Dennis Green in his postgame interview.
But instead of channeling the fury the ex-NFL coach once so famously put on display, Corbin merely offered the shake of a head that the San Antonio Spurs are so capable of eliciting after games.
"They are the team that we thought they were," Corbin said Saturday night after the Spurs beat his Jazz team 100-84 at EnergySolutions Arena.
Led by a game-high 22 points from the 37-year-old Tim Duncan and 15 more from the 12-year veteran Tony Parker, San Antonio applied pressure on Utah and never relented, snapping the Jazz's modest two-game winning streak.
Coming off a pair of road wins Wednesday night in Sacramento, Calif., and then Friday night in Denver, the Jazz appeared to lack the energy that helped them topple the Kings and the Nuggets.
But Corbin and his players didn't want to call Saturday's loss a letdown.
"That's a good team over there," said forward Marvin Williams, who scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. "Talk about teams that are playing basketball in June, the San Antonio Spurs are going to be right there. We could have come out with a little more effort maybe, a little more energy maybe. But they do a great job of keeping the pressure on."
Both teams struggled to make shots early in the first quarter. So when Jazz rookie Trey Burke spotted Jeremy Evans running down the right side of the court and lobbed up a pass for an alley-oop slam the Jazz led 15-14 late in the period.
But San Antonio closed out the quarter's final 3:18 on a 9-2 run and never relinquished the lead.
There were no signature plays to speak of, just impressively steady basketball from a Spurs team that has been a model of consistency in the NBA for years.
Kawhi Leonard's 12-foot fadeaway gave San Antonio a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter. A Duncan slam-dunk pushed the advantage to 19 a few minutes later.
In the third quarter, a Jazz forward Richard Jefferson 3-pointer cut the lead to 9 but that was as close as Utah would get the rest of the way.
Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward had 18 points, five assists and five rebounds in the loss, which dropped Utah to 6-20 on the year.
Only three players reached double figures as the Jazz hit on just 39 percent of their attempts from the field.
"They played hard," Corbin said of his team. "We didn't play with the pep we had the last two games. It's a back-to-back, but I thought the effort was there. We just didn't have the same spark about us."
After a rough shooting night in Denver, the rookie point guard Burke bounced back nicely for the Jazz. He led his team with 20 points while handing out five assists.
"He's got a great demeanor," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Burke. "He doesn't get excited about a good play or get down because there was a mistake. He just plays. He plays with his teammates. He's under control. He's aggressive. He's a fine young player."
Corbin said he hoped Burke had picked up a few things in his first matchup with Parker and the Spurs.
"There's a lot of lessons learned," the coach said.
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