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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The best pick from every NBA Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

WATCH: Tyler Lockett opens 2nd half with 75-yard TD

Newton benched on first play, Anderson immediately throws INT

Former commissioner Bud Selig and Braves GM John Schuerholz are headed to the Hall of Fame

WATCH: Josh Lambo has worst FG attempt of season so far

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Chiefs win game with incredible special teams play

WATCH: Jeff Fisher lost his challenge flag vs. Patriots

Colin Kaepernick benched for Blaine Gabbert in Chicago

Gronkowski releases statement, has no plans to retire

Sean Payton unhappy about Brandin Cooks trade rumors

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 13 NFL action

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

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

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

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