Czar’s Playoff Preview: Spurs vs. Jazz Game 3

The 4X NBA champion San Antonio Spurs come to ‘The Crossroads of The West’ to take on the Utah Jazz in Game 3. Tonight’s contest is a must-win for the Jazz , who return home down 0-2 in this first round series.

The Spurs have dominated the 1-versus-8 matchup so far. In Game 1, 2012 COTY Gregg Popovich’s guys beat the Jazz handily 106-91. On Wednesday in Game 2, Utah was obliterated by a Spurs’ onslaught, 114-83.

San Antonio had seven players score in double digits, and none of their starters played more than 28 minutes in the rout. Tim Duncan had 13 boards, and Tony Parker dished out 9 dimes.

The Spurs exhibited why they are the deepest, most balanced team in the league, and they executed with a surgeon’s precision. The Alamo Boys shot 57% from the field, 46% from behind the arc and 100% at the free throw line.

On the opposing bench, coach Tyrone Corbin’s squad looked overmatched from the get-go. They trailed 28-17 after the first quarter and 53-28 at the half. Utah’s big guns Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap shot a combined 9 for 26 and got to the charity stripe a measly two times total.

Usually solid PG Devin Harris was once again outplayed by his lead guard foe Parker. Harris was limited to 5 points and 1 assist, and he was unable to contain Parker’s dribble penetration. Corbin was forced to go to his bench for production. The seven subs scored 41 points and out-rebounded the Utah starters, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

San Antonio knows that Game 3 will be a tough 48 minutes in front of the spirited Jazz home crowd that boosted Utah to an impressive 25-8 in Salt Lake City this past season. The Jazz beat SA 91-84 in the last of their four regular season meetings on April 9th in SLC. Devin Harris had 25 points in the game.

However, that victory in the Beehive State came with a caveat – the triumvirate of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili all set out in order to rest for the playoff push. Regardless of the circumstances, a win is a win in the NBA, and it may have given Utah a small seed of confidence to carry onto the court tonight when they have their backs against the wall.

Look for the Jazz to give maximum effort and intensity in Game 3 to avoid the dreaded, inescapable hole of 0-3. Tune in to TNT at 10:00 PM ET to see if the Jazz can stop the Spurs juggernaut and get back in this series.

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