The San Antonio Spurs opened their “rodeo” road trip with a dramatic overtime victory. They look to build on that momentum when they continue the season-high eight-game swing against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
Michael Finley made a long 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in overtime Saturday to give the Spurs (32-14) a 96-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the first game of this extended road trip caused by a rodeo at the AT&T Center.
“Mike stepped into it and it was just an incredible shot,” San Antonio’s Tim Duncan said. “Those are the kinds of shots we want him to step up and take.”
Finely, who is averaging 7.9 points, finished with 17 points off the bench and went 5-for-10 from beyond the arc to help the Spurs post their third straight road win.
San Antonio improved to 26-6 over the last five seasons on the “rodeo” road trip.
“On the road, we tend to relax more and not play in such a hurry, while sometimes at home we try to do too much too soon and try to open up a huge lead early,” Ginobili told the team’s official Web site.
The Spurs are 16-6 on the road this season, holding opponents to a league-low 90.0 points per game.
They will be looking to avenge one of their only four road losses to Western Conference teams for a second straight game. San Antonio lost 83-75 at Utah on Nov. 29 in its lowest-scoring game of the season. The Spurs have won six straight road games versus Western foes since losing to the Lakers on Dec. 10.
San Antonio did beat the Jazz 106-83 at home in the most recent matchup on Dec. 28 for its 23rd win in the last 26 meetings.
The Jazz (29-17) lost 116-115 to New Jersey on Monday on Vince Carter’s 35-footer at the buzzer.
Coach Jerry Sloan missed the game with the flu, but hopes to return for this contest as the Jazz try to avoid a third straight loss.
“It’s tough. Those are tough games,” said acting coach Phil Johnson, who took over for Sloan. “You can look at all those we’ve lost (at the buzzer), but we’ve won an awful lot of games, particularly early in the year. Maybe it’s evening out on us.”
The Jazz also lost on a buzzer-beater in overtime against Memphis last Wednesday.
Though Sloan could be back Wednesday, Utah may continue to be without leading scorer and rebounder Carlos Boozer. The forward injured his left knee in the first quarter of Utah’s 94-83 loss to New Orleans on Saturday and underwent an MRI the following day, but the team has not revealed the extent of the injury.
With Boozer’s 22.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game potentially missing from the lineup, the Jazz hope Deron Williams can help fill the scoring void.
The third overall selection of the 2005 NBA draft, Williams has totaled 52 points on 21-of-35 (60.0 percent) shooting in the last two games.