Spurs target 3-0 start, host Jazz
The San Antonio Spurs will aim for their first 3-0 start to a season in five years when they host the Utah Jazz tonight at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio has posted victories over New Orleans and Oklahoma City to begin the 2012-13 campaign. If they post another victory tonight it will mark the first time the Spurs have jumped out to a 3-0 start since the 2007-08 season.
The Spurs could have Manu Ginobili back tonight to help them stay unbeaten. Ginobili, a two-time NBA All-Star, was forced to sit out the first two games of the season with back spasms, but he could make his 2012-13 debut tonight and is listed as questionable.
San Antonio earned a dramatic 86-84 victory Thursday against a visiting Thunder team. Tony Parker tied the contest with a late 3-pointer and then swished the game-winning jumper as time expired to lift the Spurs to victory in a rematch of the Western Conference finals.
"Tony was great," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of his star point guard. "Down the stretch you think he might be getting a little tired on the back-to-back, but he had his legs on the shots and did a great job."
Parker finished with 14 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who had a 20-game overall winning streak and a 2-0 Western Conference finals lead before the Thunder charged back with four consecutive wins to take the West crown last spring.
Tim Duncan had 20 points and eight rebounds in San Antonio's second victory.
The Spurs are playing the second tilt of a three-game homestand tonight and will close the residency Monday evening versus the Indiana Pacers.
Utah defeated Dallas to win its season opener, but dropped an 88-86 decision at New Orleans on Friday in the first of a three-game road trip.
Randy Foye led the Jazz with 20 points off the bench, while Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward had 16 and 14 points, respectively. The Jazz shot 41.2 percent and were sent home with a loss after Greivis Vasquez sank a floater with 1.3 seconds remaining in the game.
"We were trying to switch everything," Hayward said of Utah's defensive strategy. "He (Vasquez) just turned around and hit a tough shot."
The Jazz began a stretch with eight-of-10 games on the road after going 11-22 away from Salt Lake City last season.
San Antonio has claimed six of seven and 10 of the last 15 encounters with Utah. The Jazz have lost three in a row and 23-of-25 in the Alamo City.