SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Call it rust, call it a bad matchup, but this was not the way the Utah Jazz wanted to start its post all-star break stretch.
The Jazz shot just 43 percent, committed 17 turnovers and never got within single digits until the very end of the second half in a 113-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Friday night.
Dejounte Murray had 23 points and seven rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and seven assists, as the Spurs ended Utah’s four-game winning streak. Six Spurs players scored in double figures as the Jazz defense struggled in their first game after the break.
“There was no physicality,” said Donovan Mitchell, who scored 12 points, making just 5 of 14 shots from the field. “They just played like they didn’t have an all-star break, like they were ready to go. We didn’t come ready to play from the jump. That’s what happens. We can’t sit here and say we’ll get them next game, we can’t afford to have these games.”
Rudy Gobert finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Jazz. Emmanuel Mudiay chipped in 18 points and Jordan Clarkson added 15 off the bench for Utah.
San Antonio committed just six turnovers, hammering the Jazz with mid-range shots.
“We just weren’t getting stops,” Mudiay said. “They were getting any shots that they wanted. We knew they wanted mid-range shots, so we should have been a lot more aggressive on the defensive end.”
“I just didn’t think we were focused defensively,” added head coach Quin Snyder. “We lacked urgency. We just capitulated too easily. We got what we earned tonight.”
San Antonio used a 17-0 run late in the second half to turn a four-point game into a lopsided lead. Murray scored three baskets to fuel the run. His third one finished it off and gave the Spurs a 65-44 lead.
The Spurs came out firing and had quite a bit of early success. Aldridge and Lyles hit back-to-back baskets to ignite a 14-5 run that put San Antonio up 24-15. Murray and Forbes punctuated the spurt with two more back-to-back baskets.
San Antonio missed eight straight shots to end the first quarter. Utah was unable to capitalize before the Spurs heated up again. Starting with back-to-back jumpers from Patty Mills and Rudy Gay, San Antonio made six straight shots to open the second quarter. Forbes capped off the string of baskets with a 3-pointer that gave the Spurs a 44-30 lead.
San Antonio shot 54% from the field in the second quarter alone, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range. The Spurs matched a season-high with 38 points during the quarter.
Mudiay made three baskets over a two-minute stretch to open the fourth, helping the Jazz close to within 96-84. That’s as close as Utah could get in its comeback effort.
The Jazz next host Houston Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.