There's a long list of reasons the Utah Jazz dropped Saturday night's playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Utah missed 12 free throws, going just 14-of-26 from the line, and got outscored by a whopping 50-28 margin in the paint ?— which has normally been the Jazz's stronghold all season long. Utah only shot 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range, and was outscored 50-40 in the second half.
But the biggest reason the Jazz lost 102-90 to go down by a demoralizing 0-3 deficit in this best-of-seven series is really pretty easy to see, and it doesn't have anything to do with free throws, points in the paint or shoddy shooting statistics.
No, the real reason the Jazz are now one game away from starting their summer vacation is that the Spurs, quite simply, are just too good for 'em.
Oh, sure, with an energizing EnergySolutions Arena crowd urging them on, the Jazz gave it a great effort — much, much better than in their embarrassing 31-point blowout loss in Game 2. Devin Harris had a solid 21-point performance; Al Jefferson's steady jump shooting paved the way for a 21-point night of his own, and he also grabbed 11 rebounds to share game-high honors with teammates Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors, and youngsters Favors and Alec Burks showed they are ready-for-prime-time players with strong performances off the bench.
But in the end, the Spurs had too much Tony Parker, too much Tim Duncan, too much Stephen Jackson, too much Manu Ginobili and too much Tiago Splitter for Utah to contend with.
"I thought we played better," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said, "but we just couldn't put it together enough to get over the hump against these guys.
Their experience showed; they are a great ballclub. Take nothing away from them — they know time and situation and know exactly what to get."
Too much Parker, Duncan in San Antonio win
The Deseret News | May 6