By Tim Price, for NBA.com
Posted Saturday April 9, 2011 11:48PM
THE FACTS: Richard Jefferson had a 20-point game for the first time in 72 games, and the Spurs took advantage of Jefferson's 4-of-7 3-point shooting to hand the Utah Jazz their 10th loss in 11 games with a 111-102 victory Saturday at AT&T Center. Jefferson scored 20 (he hadn't scored that many since Nov. 10) as the Spurs (61-19) shot 58 percent from the floor -- they've shot 55 percent the past three games. The Jazz (37-42) managed to shoot 54 percent but still lost.
QUOTABLE: "All year long, and pretty much most of my career, whenever I score big numbers it's because my teammates got me the ball. A lob from Gary Neal, some passes from Tony Parker early really got me going. Last year I struggled a little bit, especially from the 3-point line. This summer when I worked with the coaches I really focused in on that because that was my role. It's really helped me this season."
THE STAT: After missing their first six shots to open the game, the Spurs hit 33 of their next 44 shots (75 percent) to take a 89-76 lead into the fourth quarter.
TURNING POINT: Just ask Earl Watson; he had the best view of the Spurs 9-0 finish to end the first half, though it wasn't any fault of his own. After Jefferson hit a 3-pointer to give San Antonio a 51-46 lead with 1:39 to go before halftime, the Spurs forced a turnover and George Hill got past Kyle Weaver before slamming one down over Watson. The Spurs got loose on another fastbreak on the next possession, and Hill lobbed one to Jefferson for a dunk over Watson again. It went from a 2-point game to the Spurs leading 57-46 at halftime.
HOT: Jefferson is (14-for-23) from 3-point territory the past six games.
NOT: C.J. Miles was 1-for-5, and he's 9-for-37 from the floor (24 percent) the past four games.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: It was a good night to have anyone named Jefferson. Al Jefferson scored 23 points and had eight rebounds. It's his best scoring night since he went for 32 on March 23.
GOOD MOVE: Whether or not Tiago Splitter makes much of an appearance in the playoffs remains to be seen, but he did show one of his skills during almost 19 minutes against the Jazz. On consecutive trips down the floor during the fourth quarter, Splitter got in front of Gordon Hayward and drew an easy charging call.
ROOKIE WATCH: Derrick Favors hit 8-for-13 shots for 17 points in 29 minutes. Hayward was 4-for-7 for nine points in 33 minutes. Jeremy Evans was 4-for-6 for eight points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Splitter was 5-for-7 for 13 points and eight rebounds.
NOTABLE: This completes the Spurs' regular-season home schedule, and the 36-5 record is the team's best since the 2004-05 season.
UP NEXT: For the Jazz, Monday @ New Orleans, Wednesday vs. Denver. For the Spurs, Tuesday @ Lakers, Wednesday @ Phoenix.