Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/8/12

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gregg Popovich will have plenty of time to rest his Big Three again.

This time, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili won't even have to miss any games.

The San Antonio Spurs fought off a late rally and finished off a four-game sweep of the Utah Jazz with an 87-81 victory Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.

That gives the Spurs, looking for their fifth NBA championship, a lengthy break prior to their second-round Western Conference playoff series. The Spurs will take on the winner of the ongoing Memphis Grizzlies-Los Angeles Clippers series.

Ginobili took the offensive baton from Duncan and Parker to lead top-seeded San Antonio to its fourth consecutive win over eighth-seeded Utah. The Argentine guard scored a team-high 17 points, including 10 straight during a series-clinching run that spanned the third and fourth quarters.

Five San Antonio players scored in double figures, including three reserves.

"We are a team that has a lot of scorers on the bench, and we have been doing that all season long," Ginobili said. "We try to change the tempo of the game when we come in, and we have four good open shooters that are good screeners and drivers. We have been successful all season long, and it is one of our keys (to victory)."

The Spurs built a 21-point lead that seemed safe until the Jazz showed one last gasp in the fourth quarter, scraping and clawing back to within four points in the final minute.

Utah even had a chance to cut the Spurs' lead down to two or one, but Parker stole the ball from Paul Millsap and passed it downcourt for an easy Ginobili layup.

That final push left Popovich raving about Utah more than his own team in the postgame press conference.

"The Utah Jazz showed you the kind of class and the kind of organization they are. Down 3-0 and ... some people probably thought it was over," Popovich said. "We put in a couple of subs, and they just ran it right to us and stuck it to us because they don't quit."

A 21-3 run in the middle of the second half put San Antonio in a position in which it could absorb a 17-point swing in the final six-plus minutes.

Utah, showing a burst of offensive spark in the third quarter, used a 10-0 run to trim San Antonio's near-game-long lead to 61-58 on an Al Jefferson jumper.

Jefferson scored the Jazz's next basket, although it didn't come for another eight minutes and nine seconds. In the Jazz's dry spell, Ginobili went to work and hit three 3-point buckets.

The Spurs had five players in double figures and won despite shooting 37.8 percent.

Jefferson, who admitted postgame that the Spurs were a better team, led all scorers with 26 points. But Utah shot 36.4 percent, went 0-for-13 from 3-point range and 17-for-26 from the foul line.

"It's frustrating to lose, but it's a learning experience," Jefferson said. "We went out fighting. We fought all the way to the end."

Desperate times called for a desperate lineup change for the Jazz to begin Game 4.

Hoping to spark his team's defense and somehow claw back into the one-sided series, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin inserted 6-foot-10 forward Derrick Favors into the starting lineup.

That strategy move didn't pay off in the first half, as the Spurs took a 50-42 lead into the break.

The Jazz briefly led in the first quarter, going ahead 19-15 on a Devin Harris free throw.

The Spurs closed out the quarter on a 7-0 run, though, and kept surging well into the second quarter. Similar to San Antonio's 20-0 run in the Game 2 rout, the Spurs produced a 21-3 surge to go ahead 36-22.

Duncan led San Antonio in the first half with 11 points, but it was the Spurs' depth that did most of the damage. Six bench players had at least five points.

Harris topped the Jazz in the first half with 13 points, while Jefferson and Millsap each contributed 10 points. Favors added five points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.

The Jazz continued their cold-shooting ways against the Spurs, only hitting 40.5 percent of their first-half shots.

"They do a good job of the little things, whether that's rotating on defense or making the extra pass on offense," Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said of the Spurs. "The details you have to do to be a successful team, they make sure that they do everything well."

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