SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 30 (Ticker) --
Neither Tim Duncan
nor the San
Antonio Spurs lit up the scoreboard as they opened their long
road swing. However, their swarming defense made up for it.
Duncan collected 19 points and eight rebounds as the Spurs
opened their annual "Rodeo Trip" with a 79-70 triumph over the
sliding Utah Jazz.
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San Antonio's season-high eight-game road swing coincides with
the rodeo occupying the AT&T Center every year. The trip that
always begins in late January or early February has not fazed
the Spurs, who have posted a 19-4 mark over the previous three
"It's a great way to start a road trip. This is a big win for
us," Duncan said. "This is where we always get a lot of our
personality as a team - on the road. It's a great time for us
and we always do well with it."
The Spurs shot just 41 percent (28-of-68) from the field against
the Jazz, who have lost three straight games and seven of nine.
However, they held the hosts to just 32 percent (22-of-68).
While Duncan's foul trouble limited his play at times, the Spurs
didn't lose much as the bench made the plays it needed to
maintain control. Udrih chipped in 10 points, Nazr Mohammed
grabbed nine rebounds and Sean Marks
added four points and five
Both Mohammed and Marks also helped San Antonio limit
and Mehmet Okur
, Utah's top two offensive weapons who
combined to make 5-of-23 shots for just 19 points.
"We played pretty good D, we held them to 70 points, so I guess
our defense got us through this," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
Utah started out well, holding a 22-14 advantage with 1:40 left
in the opening session. But Beno Udrih
connected on a pair of
3-pointers to shave San Antonio's deficit to two at the end of
The Spurs held the Jazz to just 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting in
the second quarter. They took a 39-33 lead into intermission
and never trailed thereafter.
"We were getting some wide-open looks, and we just weren't
putting them in the basket," Jazz guard Devin Brown
"Against a team like that, you're not going to get much as far
as calls or breaks or loose balls. So any little thing you do,
you have to take advantage of it, and we didn't do that."
Duncan scored six points as San Antonio took control with a 12-4
surge that gave the team its biggest lead, 74-62, with 10:55
remaining. The Jazz scored the next five points but got no
"I thought we sustained their runs and did a great job," Duncan
(Ginobili) played great, Tony
(Parker) did the same
and really controlled the game down the stretch. We just kind
of sustained it throughout and finished with a win."
was Utah's only starter to shoot over 50 percent
(5-of-8) en route to 15 points. The Jazz also made just
24-of-34 foul shots.
"We didn't make the plays necessary to win the game down the
stretch when it mattered most, whether it was missing layups or
missing free throws," Collins said. "They hit big shots ... and
we just couldn't stop them, couldn't execute defensively."