The San Antonio Spurs (49-9) beat the Utah Jazz (28-29) 96-78 on Thursday night. Kawhi Leonard in his second game back led the way with 29 points.
The Spurs looked like the well-oiled machine that have drawn fans all over the world to their games. Perfect ball movement, solid defense and team basketball is what makes San Antonio a favorite to hoist their sixth title in franchise history.
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The Jazz came out as many do against the Spurs fired up leading by seven in the first quarter, but San Antonio’s defense tightened up in the second quarter and held Utah to its lowest point total of the season. The Jazz had scored 110-plus points in their three previous games.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward continued his struggles against the Spurs as he was held to 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting from the floor. Derrick Favors was the bright spot for Utah as he finished with 25 points and six rebounds.
The win marks San Antonio’s fourth-straight on the road and improving to 6-1 on the Rodeo Road Trip. Leonard sparked the Spurs who went on a 9-0 run which gave them a four point lead, 35-31 early in the second quarter — San Antonio never looked back. Tim Duncan who was held scoreless for the second time in his career on Wednesday finished with a double-double against Utah finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Parker was magnificent in leading the team as he finished with 16 and six assists.
The Spurs shot 48 percent from the field and the Jazz knocked down 43 percent of their shots. San Antonio is 44-0 when it has a higher shooting percentage than its opponent.
-Starters Solid In Win
Four of the five starters reached in double-figures for San Antonio as Danny Green was the lone player unable to score on his five attempts. Combined for 74 of the teams 96 points. LaMarcus Aldridge who had seven points on Wednesday against Sacramento finished with 15 on 7 of 15 shooting against Utah.
Feb 25, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball over Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) during the second half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. San Antonio won 96-78. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
-Winning The Boards
San Antonio kept Utah off of the boards as they won the battle, 43-31. Duncan was the leader for the Spurs grabbing 11.
-Defense Solid In Win
The first quarter was rough for San Antonio as they saw themselves down by seven. The second quarter and beyond was a different story as San Antonio tightened up and clamped down on Utah. Spurs are ranked first in scoring defense at it showed holding the Jazz to just 78 points — Utah scored 110-plus over their previous three.
Star Performer: Kawhi Leonard
It took one game for Leonard to find his rhythm on the offensive end. Coming back from missing three-straight games to score 18 against Sacramento, Leonard against Utah dropped 29 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor. Defensively he held Hayward in check. Always finding to the ball, Leonard tipped a pass intended for Rudy Gobert, stole it and flew in for the one-handed slam. Glad to see him healthy Spurs fans?
–Patty Mills: 11 points, 3-4 3-PT
–David West: Six points, three rebounds
-9 of 18 3-PT (50 Percent)
-Spurs won their 21st road win of the season which marked the 19th straight season. An all-time NBA Record.