The Spurs have a 1 1/2 -game lead over the Dallas Mavericks for the best record in the Western Conference. A victory by San Antonio in either of its final two games or a loss by Dallas in its regular-season finale would allow the Spurs to clinch the top seed.
After taking on the Jazz, the Spurs will face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday while the Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Clippers. San Antonio, though, is focused on ending its regular-season home schedule with a win Monday.
“We need to get some of that funk out,” Tim Duncan said. “We’ve had some bad games and some losses at home.”
The Spurs have lost three of five at home, including a defeat to Dallas on April 7.
San Antonio beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-90 on Sunday despite playing Duncan and the rest of its starters limited minutes. Minnesota was playing without top scorers Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis.
“You have letdowns sometimes and you lose games like this, but we came in here and I thought we took care of business the right way,” said Duncan, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
Twelve San Antonio players saw action on Sunday, leading to 57 points being scored by the bench. Beno Udrih led the reserves with 15 points in 22 minutes, his second-highest point total of the season.
Utah was unable to help the Spurs on Sunday, losing 111-95 to the Mavericks.
That loss ended the Jazz’s five-game winning streak and eliminated them from the playoff race, two days after a 105-104 win over the New Orleans Hornets put the team over .500 for the first time since late January.
“We needed some luck to make the playoffs, but it was too late,” Carlos Boozer said. “We ran out of time. … If we would have been healthy by March and had the lineup we had tonight, we would have been OK.”
Boozer looks to continue his recent success after finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Mavericks. He missed the first 49 games of the season because of a strained left hamstring, but has averaged 16.2 points since returning. Boozer has scored more than 20 points in seven of his last eight games.
The Spurs need to win both of their remaining games to break the franchise record for victories. The 1995-95 team went 62-20.
San Antonio has won 12 straight at home against the Jazz going back to the 1998-99 season.