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Spurs hold off Jazz at home

The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs had a large lead on their home court, but let it slip away. Almost.

Tony Parker had 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Spurs to a 110-100 win over the Utah Jazz Saturday night at the AT&T Center.

Danny Green added 21, Kawhi Leonard 13 and Gary Neal 11 as the Spurs moved to 3-0 on the season. Tim Duncan also had 19 points with 11 rebounds.

Up by as many as 19 midway in the third quarter, the Spurs staved off an improbable comeback by the Jazz. Utah crawled its way back into the game behind Mo Williams, who had 15 in the third.

The Jazz scored the final 13 points, capped by a pair of free throws from Williams, to tie it at 79.

Utah outscored San Antonio 35-17 in that period.

"It just flowed that way," said Williams of their third-quarter streak. "I hit a couple of shots and we got into some transition situations. I had it going a little bit. If it was me, if it was Al (Jefferson), if it was Paul (Millsap), anyone of us want to ride the hot hand -- and I just happen to be the point guard with the ball in my hand; created some shots. I thought I did a good job to get my teammates more involved."

But the Jazz couldn't take the lead from the Spurs, and San Antonio brought it back up to 110-100 when Duncan got a steal and sent it to Parker for a layup with 29 seconds remaining.

"You know what, we expect people to make runs," said Duncan. "We hope they don't make runs to that effect. We didn't panic and we did a great job of sticking to what we were doing. We focused ourselves on defense a little bit, and just took advantage of the plays we had on the other end."

Williams led the Jazz with 29 points and nine assists. He was 9-of-13 on the night and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.

Millsap added 17, with 10 rebounds, Jefferson 16 and Gordon Hayward 15 as Utah dropped to 1-2.

Manu Ginobili made his season debut after sitting out the first two games with back spasms. The 35-year-old All-Star guard had eight points in 15 minutes.

San Antonio took a 62-44 halftime lead behind 74 percent first-half shooting. They were 26-of-35 from the field, and 14-of-17 in the second quarter (82 percent).

San Antonio jumped on the Jazz early behind the backcourt duo of Green and Parker, giving them a 28-17 first-quarter lead.

Parker had 14 and Green 13 for the half. "We were rolling," said Green of the Spurs' first-half play. "We were playing well, and we were moving the ball."

Parker, who hit the game-winning shot Thursday night against Oklahoma City, gave the Spurs their largest lead at 19, when he hit a 3-pointer with a minute remaining.

The Jazz, who struggled to keep pace with the hot-shooting Spurs, still managed 45 percent from the field. Hayward and Williams both had 10 for Utah.

"First half, when you give up 62 points to this kind of team on the road and they shoot 74 percent, our effort couldn't get any worse than what it was," said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. "We weren't aggressive on either end of the floor. We wanted to pick it up in the third quarter and we did. We had good results as a result of that."

NOTES: Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have played in 765 regular-season games together, the highest total for any pair of current NBA teammates. ... Utah entered the game 2-17 against the Spurs at the AT&T Center, which opened in 2003. ... With the win, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich recorded his 850th victory and is firmly in second place on the all-time win list, second only to ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan (1,127).
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