Utah Jazz's Enes Kanter (0), DeMarre Carroll (3), Alec Burks (10) and Derrick Favors (15) wait on the sideline during a timeout in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in San Antonio. San Antonio won 114-83.
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker shooed away the NBA coach of the year. The San Antonio Spurs were ahead 36 points and he didn’t want Gregg Popovich to end his night just yet.
“To stay in shape,” Parker said.
That’s how bad it got for the Utah Jazz. It was the third quarter of a playoff game, and Parker by then was practically treating it as just another workout.
Pummeling the Jazz in a fashion not seen since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls humiliated them in the 1998 NBA Finals, San Antonio handed Utah its second-worst playoff loss, winning 114-83 on Wednesday night to take 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
Parker scored 18 points, while Popovich — a day after receiving the NBA’s highest coaching honor — could practically put the Spurs on autopilot after a 20-0 run in the second quarter. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin had admitted to being unusually jittery before losing Game 1, but this time, it was center Al Jefferson summing up how this shiner felt.
“Embarrassing,” he said.
The only bigger embarrassment for the Jazz in the playoffs was that 42-point loss to Jordan’s Bulls in 1998.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
It’s the first time the Spurs have led a series 2-0 since opening the 2008 playoffs against Phoenix. San Antonio won that series in five, and unless the Jazz can shake this off, this one will be over just as quick.
If not sooner.
“I can’t explain it. I couldn’t explain it the other night,” Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. “They came out and just whipped us.”
It was a total collapse by the Jazz in spite of flying back to Salt Lake City after Game 1 and regrouping with two days of practice back home. There they had talked about adjustments and maybe giving Parker “a hard foul or two” to get him thinking twice about driving, but Parker didn’t seem to have a dent on him before taking the entire fourth quarter off.
Jefferson and Millsap weren’t any more imposing on offense than they were defensively. Jefferson scored 10 points, and Millsap had nine.
Popovich chalked the blowout more to the Jazz having a bad night — they shot 23 percent in the first half — than the Spurs dominating. Parker played 28 minutes and Popovich said the decision on when to take his star out was a struggle between keeping him in condition and not risking injury.
“He wanted to get the whole quarter, but we compromised and got two more minutes,” Popovich said. “He’s been special for us all year, obviously. We got to keep him ready to go.”
The Spurs held the Jazz scoreless for nearly 7 minutes in the second quarter while rookie Kawhi Leonard and unheralded swingman Danny Green outplayed the Jazz’s stars. The Jazz filed off the court at halftime walking slow, heads down and quiet after being as close as 31-26 minutes earlier.
Jefferson and Josh Howard, who also had 10 points, were Utah’s leading scorers.
It was the most lopsided postseason win for the Spurs since beating the Nuggets by 28 in 2005. San Antonio’s playoff record is a 40-point victory over Denver in 1983.
“You don’t expect to win a playoff game like that,” Green said. “They’re a very good team, but they didn’t shoot it as well as they liked. They didn’t shoot it as well as they did, and we shot the ball pretty well. Stuff like that happens.”
The Spurs have won 12 in a row, a season high after surrendering two 11-game winning streaks this season by not playing Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Duncan finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Leonard scored 17 points, and Green had 13.
At least the Jazz didn’t look the most embarrassed the entire night. Popovich again had to show off his coach of the year trophy before the game, this time for fans while standing between Duncan and Spurs great David Robinson. Popovich obliged for several seconds before scrambling to hand the trophy off to one of his assistants as fast as possible.
Notes: The last Jazz team to rally from an 0-2 deficit and win a playoff series was 2007, when Utah came back to beat Houston in the first round. The Spurs later beat that team on their way to their fourth championship. … Backup Spurs C Tiago Splitter (sprained wrist) was available to play but the rout gave Popovich the luxury of letting the big man continue to heal. Popovich said Splitter should be better by Game 3.
PACERS UP 2-1 ON MAGIC AFTER GAME 3 ROUT:
ORLANDO, Fla. — In the first two games against the Orlando Magic, the Indiana Pacers struggled to make the most of their size and matchup advantages.
After several days of repeated tongue lashings from coach Frank Vogel, the Pacers finally got the message and capitalized on both, running past the Magic 97-74 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
Danny Granger had 26 points and nine rebounds, Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Indiana held Orlando under 80 points for the second straight game.
The Pacers regained home-court advantage, riding good shooting early, building a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter and cruising to the victory.
“I think we’re adjusting,” Hibbert said. “We see what they’re doing. … They made their run at the end of the first quarter. We adjusted, then we tried to lay it on them as much as possible.”
Indiana dominated scoring underneath thanks to a 46-33 rebounding edge and has outscored the Magic 81-43 in the third quarter in the series.
“Terrific win by our club,” Vogel said. “We understood the importance of winning on the road, and to be a great basketball team, and to go on a deep playoff run which is what we hoped to do starting this season.”
Vogel said the goal was to limit Orlando’s 3-point attempts and thought that “holding that team to 15 3-point field goal (attempts) when they average 28 is a strong defensive effort.”
Glen Davis led the Magic with 22 points, and J.J. Redick added 13. The Magic never led, struggled to get any scoring in the paint, and made a series-low five 3-pointers.
One of the biggest disappoints in the series continues to be the play of Ryan Anderson, who was held to seven points and one 3-pointer. He has scored 23 points total in the three games.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating as a group (and) in general to lose a game like this,” he said. “But obviously we can bounce back and player harder next game. The great thing about this is we have another game, so keep playing.”
Vogel also implored the Pacers after each of the first two games to make better shot selections.
They finally did that as well.
It translated into their best shooting of the series as the Pacers built a 23-point lead in the third quarter and led 76-55 entering the fourth.
Indiana had its way both inside and out, shooting 47 percent for the game (37 for 79) and holding a 42-22 edge on points in the paint.
Meanwhile, aside from Davis, Orlando’s offense stalled at several points and the Magic connected on only 30 of their 71 attempts from the field.
Indiana led 44-38 at the half, but started the game on an offensive tear hitting nine of its first 10 shots from the field and shot 52 percent (18 for 34) for the half.
The Magic had few answers for Hill, who scored 13 points in the opening two periods.
Orlando survived the fast start, though, thanks largely to Davis’ 16-point second quarter. His scoring spree featured mid-range jumpers and some baskets in the post. It all came after Davis missed all three of his shots in the first quarter.
The Pacers put the Magic in a 10-point first-quarter hole for the third straight game, jumping out to a 13-3 advantage.
Orlando missed its first five shots before Hedo Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer to finally put the Magic on the board.
Granger said he thinks the roots of the Pacers resurgence the past two games aren’t hard to find.
“That (Game 1) loss really woke us up,” he said. “It showed us what Orlando was capable of and we knew we had to really play in this series to win. We have just been executing especially on the defensive end…In a playoff series it’s kind of like a chess match.”
Game 4 is Saturday in Orlando, and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said changes must be made during that time if they’re going to turn things around.
“They clearly dominated us tonight, and that’s three first quarters and three third quarters where it’s been the same story. So we’ll take look at that and see if we want to make some changes or something. We can’t be playing out of a hole all the time.”
As good as it feels to have the Magic backpedaling now, though, Pacers guard Paul George said no one is feeling like the series is over yet.
“It gives us confidence, but at the same time we know this team is dangerous,” he said. “We don’t want to be happy about just being up 2-1, but just take it one game at a time. Basically, this could be a long series if we don’t take care of business.”
And generate another talking to from their coach.
Notes: Indiana outrebounded Orlando for the third consecutive game. … Orlando G Jason Richardson started Wednesday after jamming his left thumb in the Magic’s Game 2 loss. … About a dozen Magic fans sitting near midcourt wore homemade Davis-inspired “Baby’s Crazies” t-shirts. … Wednesday was George’s 22nd birthday.
GRIZZLIES PULL EVEN WITH CLIPPERS:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — O.J. Mayo scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Memphis Grizzlies bounced back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-98 on Wednesday night.
The Grizzlies blew a 27-point lead in losing Game 1 on Sunday night and letting the Clippers grab home-court advantage in the best-of-seven, first-round Western Conference series. They got back to their physical style and evened the series.
Game 3 is Saturday in Los Angeles.
Rudy Gay also scored 21 points as Memphis showed off its depth with six players reaching double figures. Mike Conley had 19, Zach Randolph 15, Marreese Speights 11 and Tony Allen 10.
All-Star guard Chris Paul led the Clippers with 29 points. Blake Griffin had 22, and Mo Williams and Nick Young 11 apiece.
The Grizzlies had the lead going into the fourth quarter for a second straight game. This time, the Clippers got no closer than four.
Memphis led 75-69 at the start of this fourth quarter, and Paul’s four-point play with 8:06 left got the Clippers to 83-79. The Grizzlies answered with Conley scoring on a driving layup, followed by another 3 from Mayo. Bobby Simmons, starting with Caron Butler out with a broken left hand, scored seven of his nine points in the fourth.
It wasn’t enough as Gay and Randolph combined to score six straight points with Gay’s basket giving Memphis its biggest lead of the night at 97-84 with 3:52 remaining. The Grizzlies sealed the victory by hitting six of 10 free throws in the final 47.6 seconds.
Both the Clippers and Grizzlies started this game as if they simply picked up Sunday night when Los Angeles finished the game on a 28-3 run.
Playing aggressively, the Clippers jumped out to a 6-1 lead as the Grizzlies missed their first four shots. Memphis didn’t hit its first shot until Conley’s driving layup with 8:19 left in the first quarter, and Gay missed his first three shots before hitting a 15-foot jumper.
The Clippers shot 64.7 percent (11 of 17) in the first quarter and hit 4 of 6 at the free throw line. But they just couldn’t match the Grizzlies who outrebounded the Clippers (37-2) with a big edge on the offensive boards (16-4), which they used to outscore them 18-6 on second-chance points. Memphis also had a 46-38 edge in the paint.
The emotions are starting to boil in this series, and the Grizzlies brought out wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler came out and delivered a pile driver to someone dressed up as a Clippers’ fan.
That almost seemed to help spark the Grizzlies. They opened the second quarter hitting six of their first seven shots and took their first lead on a pair of free throws by Mayo at 31-30 early in the quarter. Nick Young tied it at 37 on a 3 with 6:22 left, then Marreese Speights tipped in a bucket with 5:53 left, and the Grizzlies never trailed or were tied again. Memphis led 51-47 at halftime.
Memphis hit 11 3-pointers in Game 1 and reverted back to the team that ranked 25th in the NBA from outside the arc by missing its first eight attempts Wednesday night. Mayo finally ended the drought with his 3 over Griffin with 9:32 left, and he followed with a jumper on the next possession giving Memphis an 82-73 lead.
Notes: Memphis notched its eighth straight playoff sellout going back to last spring. … The Grizzlies forced Los Angeles into 21 turnovers they turned into 25 points. Memphis had just 13 turnovers. … Titans linebacker Colin McCarthy tweeted that he was in the stands for Game 2. … Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Butler will see a specialist Thursday in Los Angeles.