Jazz-Spurs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 03, 2012
The San Antonio Spurs are looking for their best start to a season in five years, and now they may have Manu Ginobili back. A matchup with the Utah Jazz could help them remain unbeaten. With Ginobili possibly available, the Spurs attempt to continue their dominance of the Jazz on Saturday night after sweeping them out of the playoffs last season. San Antonio (2-0) hasn't opened a season with three straight victories since 2007-08. The team got closer to matching that start Thursday, when Tony Parker hit a 21-footer at the buzzer to secure an 86-84 win over Oklahoma City in a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals, which the Spurs lost in six games. Their strong start, which also includes a 99-95 victory at New Orleans on Wednesday, has come with Ginobili sidelined. Coach Gregg Popovich has said the 35-year-old guard "is really close" to returning from back spasms, which forced him to miss half the preseason after various injuries limited him to 34 games last season. Ginobili was used off the bench as the Spurs swept Utah (1-1) in the opening round of last season's postseason, holding the Jazz to 38.2 percent from the floor and 9 for 45 from beyond the arc. Ginobili scored 17 points while hitting half of his six 3-point attempts in an 87-81 win in the series finale. He's averaging 19.8 points over his last five regular-season matchups. San Antonio has won 10 of the last 11 meeting with the Jazz, averaging 103.1 points. The only defeat in that stretch came at Utah on April 9 with Tim Duncan out. Duncan enters this meeting after scoring 20 points with eight rebounds and three blocks against the Thunder. He was even better a night earlier, making 10 of 15 shots to finish with 24 points, 11 boards and three assists while blocking three shots. Parker, who scored 14 points Thursday, is averaging 21.9 over his last 16 overall games against Utah with San Antonio winning 13. The Jazz are looking to bounce back from Friday's 88-86 loss at New Orleans, giving up the decisive layup with 1.3 seconds left. That came two days after coach Tyrone Corbin chastised his team at halftime before it went on to a 113-94 victory over Dallas. "We learned a lesson," Corbin said. "We have to be more aggressive at the start of the game and play all 48 minutes. We didn't play our best basketball." Utah likely needs increased production from Al Jefferson, who has made 9 of 24 shots to total 22 points with 22 rebounds over the last two games. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.6 boards last season, and combined for 47 and 21, respectively, in the last two games of the playoff series with the Spurs. The Jazz began a stretch Friday with eight of 10 games on the road after going 11-22 away from home last season. Including playoffs, they have lost 28 of 30 at San Antonio.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker