NBA Basketball

94
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Antonio 26 16 21 31 94
Utah 38 28 34 26 126
126
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0021:00 ET7:00 PM CT0:00 , May 5, 2021
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah  Attendance: 6,506

Jazz, Rudy Gobert look to stifle Spurs again

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz

  1. The Jazz has a chance to sweep a season series from the Spurs for only the third time in the history of this rivalry. Utah went 5-0 against San Antonio in 1993-94 and 4-0 in 2009-10. The Spurs have swept a season series from the Jazz nine times, all since 2000.
  2. The Spurs have the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA based on the combined winning percentage of their upcoming opponents (.626).
  3. The Jazz defeated the Spurs on Monday, 110-99, to improve to 18-0 when allowing under 100 points this season. No NBA team has as many wins without a loss when allowing under 100 points this season.
  4. The Jazz scored 66 points in the paint against the Spurs on Monday, their highest total in any game this season.
  5. Rudy Gobert has averaged 15.4 rebounds per game over his last five games against San Antonio.
  6. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 16.9 points per game with no rest this season, but in games after at least one day off he's averaging 22.5 points per game.

In a recent loss, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert bemoaned what he perceived to be somewhat of a lack of effort by his team.

That certainly was not the case in Monday's wire-to-wire win over the San Antonio Spurs.

The Jazz (47-18) will host the Spurs (31-33) again Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, and they could certainly use a similar effort as they try to end the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the NBA.

"It's really important to us to get off to a good start," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "If it means making plays off our defense and getting easy opportunities, that's even better."

En route to Monday's 110-99 win, the Jazz led by double figures for most of the way thanks to a smothering defensive effort.

That excellent defense was encapsulated in one play during which three different Spurs began to attack the rim, then backed away after being confronted by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Gobert. They wanted nothing to do with The Stifle Tower, who spearheaded a defensive performance that kept San Antonio away from the rim much of the night.

"We tried to make them earn everything they got," Gobert said.

Gobert finished with another statistical haul, scoring 24 points with 15 rebounds, three blocks and two steals to help the Jazz compensate for the absence of injured All-Star guards Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.

The aggressive defense was the story of the night. Utah turned 13 San Antonio turnovers into 22 points, outrebounded the Spurs 50-37 and hounded the visitors from the perimeter, limiting them to 27.8 percent shooting from 3-point range.

"When we play that way," Gobert said, "it's really hard for the other team to play us because we have so many weapons."

Jordan Clarkson (16 points, six rebounds, five assists), Joe Ingles (13 points, nine assists), Georges Niang (11 points) and Trent Forrest (nine points) helped boost the Jazz offense, which eventually went ahead by as many as 25 points.

That first half ended up dooming the Spurs, though.

"We got to figure out a way to come Wednesday ready to compete, because that second half we competed really well with them," San Antonio's Dejounte Murray said. "I think we competed way more than we did in the first half -- starting with myself."

The Spurs chipped away the Jazz lead, cutting the final margin down to 11 with a game-ending 7-0 run.

"Poor first half, really good second half," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We've kind of had that personality for a lot of the year."

--Field Level Media

Updated May 4, 2021

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