Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com.
NEWS AND COMMENTARY – The San Antonio Spurs shook off a rough start to pull away from the Utah Jazz 106-91 in game one of their first round matchup in San Antonio.
The Jazz jumped out to an early five-point lead midway through the first quarter, but the Spurs answered with a 17-4 run. The Spurs led by six after the first quarter.
The Jazz shockingly started Josh Howard who missed over a month of play with knee surgery and had only been back for two games where he was used sparingly off the bench.
Even Howard was surprised by the start, telling television reporters he had no idea he was going to start.
The crazy thing about the line up change was the Jazz came into the game hot winners of five straight with DaMare Carroll starting at small forward.
Howard finished the game 0-4 playing just 16 minutes and did not play much in the second half. Carroll scored seven points while playing 22 minutes. Both players pulled in four rebounds.
Another strange coaching move was Jazz coach Ty Corbin not playing the “big line up” until midway through the third quarter. The “big line up” was plus 76 this season, and consists of Paul Millsap moving to the small forward, Derrick Favors playing the power forward, and Al Jefferson at center.
The Jazz hung tough for all of the second quarter and trailed at the half by seven points, only losing the second quarter by one point.
By the third quarter the Spurs began to hit some outside shots and grab a double-digit lead. The Spurs are the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA. The Jazz are ranked 26th in the NBA.
Not one starter made a 3-point field goal for the Spurs in game one.
The Jazz need to find a way to slow down Spurs point guard Tony Parker who scored 28 points while handing out eight assists. Tim Duncan pulled in another double-double scoring 17 points and corralling 11 rebounds to help the Spurs win their 11th straight game.
The Jazz did contain the third member of the Spurs “big three,” Manu Ginobili, who only scored seven points on 3-10 shooting.
Millsap led the way for the Jazz scoring 20 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Gordon Hayward and Jefferson were the only other Jazz players in double figures, scoring 17 points and 16 points respectively.
Another questionable coaching move for the Jazz was play or lack of play for the rookies. Alec Burks and Enes Kanter only played 10 minutes each. Burks made the best of his time scoring six points.
The Spurs are listing starting center Tiago Splitter doubtful for game two because of a wrist injury. The Jazz will now have an even bigger advantage inside against the Spurs missing the 7-foot center.
The Spurs have had two other 11-game winning streaks during the season but never made it to a 12-game winning streak. The Jazz ended the Spurs second 11-game streak in Salt Lake on April 9. The win was the only win the Jazz had over the Spurs this season, in a game where the Spurs left there “big three” at home to rest up before the playoffs.
Game two is Wednesday night in San Antonio with an early 5 p.m. tip.
For more JAZZ talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Twitter Hashtag: #UTAHJAZZ