The Jazz have lost all three games in this best-of-seven series by an average of 19 points. The Spurs, on the other hand, continue their regular-season momentum and extend their winning streak to 13 games.
The Jazz began the night with renewed determination and strong performances from key players. Equaling his point total in the first two games, Devin Harris scored 12 first-quarter points on an impressive 5-of-8 shooting.
Despite some offensive improvements, the Jazz could not contain the polished San Antonio Spurs who scored 18 of their 30 first-quarter points in the paint. After 12 minutes of play, the Spurs were shooting a blistering 60% from the field.
Still, the Jazz kept the game close in the first half and got a nice second-quarter boost from the young Alec Burks and Derrick Favors. Favors finished the night with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. Burks showed off an improved outside shot and ended the night with 11 points.
What began as a close game turned lopsided in the third period. Forcing Utah to shoot outside jump shots, the Spurs limited the Jazz to just 18 third-quarter points on 37% shooting.
San Antonio was especially effective in forcing Al Jefferson to be an outside shooter. Though he finished the game with 21 points, only five of his eighteen field goal attempts came from inside the paint.
After a relatively quiet three quarters, Tony Parker came alive in the fourth period, scoring 16 of his game-high 27 points in the final twelve minutes. Parker and the Spurs withstood a modest Jazz run in the fourth quarter to seal the game.
“[Parker’s] one of the best point guards in this league because he can get in the paint and bang with the big guys. [He can] also step out and shoot his jump shot and then get his teammates involved,” said a depleted Paul Millsap.
Whether at home or on the road, the Jazz have not been able to contain the lightning-quick Parker who is averaging 24 points and seven assists this series. Now, on the brink of playoff elimination, the Jazz are in need of some quick answers.