San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs vs. Jazz recap, reactions: A thrilling win in overtime

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - MARCH 23 : Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs high fives Kyle Anderson #1 of the San Antonio Spurs after a basket against the Utah Jazz at AT&T Center on March 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - MARCH 23 : Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs high fives Kyle Anderson #1 of the San Antonio Spurs after a basket against the Utah Jazz at AT&T Center on March 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs pulled off a thriller against the Utah Jazz — one that was needed to establish playoff positioning.

The San Antonio Spurs walked into Friday’s matchup vs. the Utah Jazz with must-win in mind. Especially against a team that beat them every time this season. These two squads were separated by just one game, with the Spurs at No. 6 and the Jazz at No. 8 and 1.5 games ahead of the No. 9 Denver Nuggets.

This game turned into a four-man performance for San Antonio, as LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay all crossed 15 points, with no other player exceeding 5. The star, easily, was Aldridge, whose 45 points was a career-high. It came on a stellar 19-for-27 shooting in 41 minutes. 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 1 steal accompanied this. Where would this team be without these performances? As Kawhi Leonard continues to sit out, who knows, but certainly not this high in the playoff pack.

Make that 3️⃣7️⃣ points for Aldridge #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/sOnr5kq0PO

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 24, 2018

Mills played one of his best games of an inconsistent 2017-18 season, too. 25 points became his third-highest total in 73 games played, including the final baskets to secure this win.

To get that victory and keep a spot in the middle of the Western Conference pack, the Spurs were forced into overtime. Blame that on Jazz star Donovan Mitchell‘s 3-point make to send the game to an extra period. He finished with 35 points and continued his campaign for Rookie of the Year. Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio each crossed 20 points to follow close behind. Rubio even hit 3-of-3 shots from behind the arc, despite being a 32 percent shooter this season.

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A 10-6 run in overtime brought the Spurs their 43rd win of the season, 124-120. It tied them, with the New Orleans Pelicans, for fifth in the standings at 43-30 each; Nine games remain, and with a 7-2 or higher record, the Silver and Black can get that number to 50, something they accomplished in every season since 1997-98, sans the lockout-shortened year.

Either way, Friday’s win was huge for the Spurs. It moved them to six consecutive victories — easily making them one of the league’s hottest teams. This happened at a perfect time, with playoff hopes on the line and after a tumultuous run after the All-Star break. There are still games to play, but each win puts them in a better position. No. 3 even remains in range, pending Gregg Popovich’s group wins a handful of games and the Portland Trail Blazers struggle to close the season.

Spurs Win in OT!!! pic.twitter.com/dJL4C2vtjp

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 24, 2018

Next: Top 25 players in SAS history

San Antonio returns to the court Sunday, Mar. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.

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