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News » NBA 2009-11-07

NBA 2009-11-07

NBA 2009-11-07SALT LAKE CITY - For the Spurs , Thursday began with a change in routine. With no morning shootaround scheduled, as part of the team's new afternoon-only practice routine, players were left with an entire morning and afternoon to kill in the middle of Utah.

By noon, some were going stir crazy.

"Me and TD (Tim Duncan) had to go to lunch," guard Roger Mason Jr. "Just to get out of the hotel room."

By night's end, and much to their opponent's relief, the Spurs had changed a different routine as well.

Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer highlighted a list of six Utah players in double figures, as the Jazz broke their curse against the Spurs with a dominating 113-99 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.

Williams had 27 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, while Boozer added 27 points and 14 rebounds, as the Jazz broke a four-game losing streak against the Spurs .

The victory was just Utah's seventh - against 29 losses - over the Spurs since the 2000-01 season. It's the second time in 40 regular-season games that the Spurs have given up 100 or more points to the Jazz.

Having lost three of their first four, having given up a record-setting fourth quarter to Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas and having left a loss to Houston to a chorus of home-court boos, the Jazz were a rolling ball of motivation Thursday.

The Spurs (2-2) knew what to expect before either team had walked into the building.

"Best executing team in the league," Duncan said. "Always."

The Spurs did much to help the Jazz (2-3) retain that moniker. They opened the game by blowing a significant chunk of defensive assignments, an event that might be expected early in the season given the new faces dotting the roster.

The Jazz made the Spurs pay, executing their way to a litany of layups in the first quarter. Utah shot 60 percent, and at one point scored on nine consecutive possessions, en route to a 32-22 first-quarter lead.

The Spurs would spend the rest of the game fighting unsuccessfully to emerge from that hole.

By half, a game that normally would have developed into a black-and-blue defensive struggle had become an offensive fireworks show. The Jazz led 60-50, with the Spurs giving up 38 points in the paint, their most in a half in three seasons.

The Spurs could not cut that deficit to single digits again.

By game's end, the Spurs had given up a season high for points and had allowed the Jazz to shoot 53 percent, a season high for an opponent.

The Jazz, who finished with 64 points in the paint, led by 13 heading into the fourth quarter. Unlike in Dallas, they would not blow this one. The Spurs had no Nowitzki to bail them out.

Playing on the anniversary of his 55-point game in Minnesota last season, Tony Parker led the Spurs with 21 points. He had 17 - and all nine of his free-throw tries - in the first half.

Duncan added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs , who are 0-2 on the road this season. Richard Jefferson added 14.

The gantlet only gets more difficult for the Spurs from here. Tonight, they are in Portland, trying to salvage a road-trip split against the team with the second-best home record in the Western Conference last season.

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Added: November 7, 2009


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