Published November 20, 2014
Manu Ginobili scored 26 points, Tony Parker had 23, and the San Antonio Spurs withstood a late rally to beat the Utah Jazz 112-105 on Wednesday night for their 10th win in 11 games.
Richard Jefferson scored 14 points, while Tim Duncan and Gary Neal each had 13 as the Spurs improved to a franchise-best, 39-7 record after 46 games. Only five teams in NBA history have had better records than the Spurs at this point in the season.
Deron Williams scored 17 of his season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter, but Utah lost its sixth straight. Al Jefferson had 22 points and CJ Miles added 13 for the Jazz, who swept the Spurs in 2009-10 but have lost both meetings this season.
The Jazz have recorded 12 comeback victories this season, overcoming deficits of more than 15 points seven times, but the Spurs made just enough clutch plays down the stretch to quell this rally.
Richard Jefferson made a 3-pointer on an assist from Parker to expand the Spurs' lead to 86-67 late in the third quarter. Most of the Jazz starters left the court, but the Utah reserves sparked an improbable rally over the next five minutes. Seldom-used Jeremy Evans had three high-flying dunks and a free throw during a 17-4 run to bring the Jazz within 90-84 with 9:29 to play.
Ginobili took a lob pass from Duncan and scored to make it 107-97 with 2:00 to play. Williams cut the lead to 109-105 on a driving layup, but he missed two long 3-point attempts in the final 15 seconds.
Utah is mired in its worst stretch of the season, and the average loss has been 15 points. The Jazz reached the bottom against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, when they trailed by as many as 38 before falling 120-91.
It had become so bad for the Jazz, that the last time they had outscored an opponent in any one quarter was against New Jersey — four games ago. The Jazz finally broke the string by posting a 27-24 margin against the Spurs in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs scored the first seven points of the game and ran the Jazz ragged off screens. Parker and Ginobili continually got into the lane for floaters or easy set-ups for the Spurs' perimeter shooters. The Spurs shot 51 percent and limited the Jazz to just one second-chance basket.
Playing with a sprained wrist, Williams often bulled his way to the basket in a determined effort to break the Utah skid. He had nine assists and made 16-of-19 shots from inside the arc but missed all five of his 3-point attempts.
The game was extraordinarily physical at times for a regular-season game. Twice in the first half, the action stopped for Raja Bell and Paul Millsap to stop the bleeding on cuts to their thumbs. Williams also went to the locker room between quarters to get his hyperextended right wrist taped.
Notes: The Lakers and the Spurs, Utah's last two opponents, are the only teams that have winning regular-season records against the Jazz all-time. Ginobili and Bell were whistled for a double-technical in the fourth quarter. After two games in a reserve role, Andrei Kirilenko scored 10 points in his return to the starting lineup, while the Spurs tipped off with the same five that have been there every contest this season.