Spurs sweep away pesky Jazz to advance
The Spurs are in the Western Conference semifinals after finishing off Utah in sweeping fashion. San Antonio completed the 4-0 first-round victory by getting past the Jazz 87-81 Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Now it’s on semis against the winner of the Clippers-Grizzlies series. The Spurs, perhaps the most-rested team in the NBA during the regular season, are getting another nice break before gearing up again.
One of the reasons Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has been able to regulate the minutes on his older veterans is the play of the bench. Reserves accounted for 57 of San Antonio’s 87 points in Game 4.
“We have been a pretty deep team this year, deeper than we usually are, and we have depended on that the entire year and it came through for us again (Monday),” Popovich said. “A couple of starters had a tough time getting going and the bench filled in admirably.”
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were the only two starters to get into double-figures, and they each had only 11 points. Manu Ginobili scored 17 off the pine, along with 11 from Gary Neal and 10 from Tiago Splitter.
“We are a team that has a lot of scorers on the bench and we have been doing that all season long,” Ginobili said. “We try to change the tempo of the game when we come in and we have four good open shooters that are good screeners and divers. We have been successful all season long and it is one of our keys.”
San Antonio has won 14 games in a row, dating back to the regular season.