Last year the San Antonio Spurs limped into the Post Season and lost their opening Playoff game to the Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio never truly recovered from that first game loss, and the Grizzlies would send the top-seeded Spurs home for the summer at the conclusion of the series.
The circumstances are far different this year for San Antonio this year, as they ended the regular campaign on a high note; capturing the number one seed in the Western Conference down the stretch and that momentum carried over to their first Playoff game on Sunday against the Utah Jazz. The Spurs set the tone in this contest early on and handled the Jazz with ease as they took the game by a final score of 106-91.
Tony Parker was the leading scorer for the afternoon as he knocked down 28 points in the contest while Tim Duncan racked up a double-double with 17 points in the win. Paul Millsap had 20 points in the loss while Gordon Hayward added 17 points. San Antonio led at the end of both the first and the second periods; heading into the locker room at the half on top 54-47. They would take the game over however in the third quarter as Matt Bonner drained a 26 foot trey with 10 seconds on the clock to give his team an 85-70 advantage at the conclusion of the period. The Jazz never could regroup in the final 12 minutes of action and the Spurs opened the Post Season with a rather easy win.
Parker had 28 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 steal for the afternoon. Duncan scored 17 points,11 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while Stephen Jackson came off the pine with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Millsap knocked down 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Jazz. Hayward had 17 points while center Al Jefferson added 16 points in the loss. San Antonio will host game two of the series on Wednesday.