Spurs Try to Grab 2-0 Series Lead Against Jazz in Western Conference Quarterfinals

2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals Game #2
#8 Utah Jazz vs #1 San Antonio Spurs
Spurs Lead Series 1-0
Best of Seven Series, Format 2-2-1-1-1
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: San Antonio -11
Current Line: San Antonio -11 1/2
Opening Total: 204 1/2
Current Total: 203 1/2
Opening Money Line: Spurs -1200 / Jazz +800
Current Money Line: Spurs -1200 / Jazz +800

Tony Parker and the Spurs look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference quarterfinals Wednesday.

Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the Utah Jazz 106-91 in game #1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. It was the first time in the last 6 playoff series that the Spurs won game #1. Last season, the #1 seeded Spurs were upset in six games by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. However, in that series Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli battled injuries. The Spurs seemed determined to not let Utah hang around like they did with the Grizzlies last year. Utah took an early 13-12 lead but never lead again. The Jazz were playing their first playoff game without legendary coach Jerry Sloane since 1988.

San Antonio, coached by Gregg Popovich, finished tied with Chicago for the best record in the league at 50-16. Popovich was named the NBA’s coach of the year earlier this week. The Spurs have won 11 straight games dating back to the regular season.  Utah is coached by Tyrone Corbin, and finished the regular season 36-30, which gave them the #8 seed in the West.

In the game #1 win Sunday, Tony Parker had 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. Popovich told him he noticed Parker played harder for France in qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in London then he did in the playoffs last year for the Spurs. Parker took it to heart and was motivated. Duncan added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Stephen Jackson scored 14 points off the bench. The Spurs used their depth to wear down the Jazz, as 6 other San Antonio players scored at least 5 points. The Spurs shot 47.6% from the field, including 6-17 from 3 point range. San Antonio made 20 of 28 free throws. The Spurs had 58 points in the paint. Forward Tiago Splitter is doubtful with a wrist injury.

Paul Milsap led the Jazz with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Guard Gordon Hayward added 17 points, and Al Jefferson added 16 with 9 boards. Utah shot 42.1% from the field but only 4-13 from 3 point range. Utah made 23 out of 30 free throws. Utah outrebounded San Antonio 45-39 but the Jazz had 16 turnovers which doomed them against a great team like the Spurs. Guards Earl Watson and C.J Miles are both out for the season.

San Antonio is 42-20-4 ATS this season and the total is 39-26-1 this season. Utah is 34-31-1 ATS and the total is 32-32-2 this season. The favorite is 21-7-1 ATS in this series recently. The Spurs are 11-3-1 ATS vs Utah in San Antonio. The over is 11-4 in the last 15 in this series, and 14-3 in San Antonio. The Jazz are 4-0-1 ATS in road games against teams with winning home records, 3-0-1 as a road underdog, 6-1 on two days rest, 4-1 in conference quarterfinal games, 4-1-1 against teams with winning records, and in road games, 3-1-1 after failing to cover, 5-2-1 against Southwest division teams, and 3-9 as an underdog of 5-10.5 points. The Spurs are 5-0-1 ATS as a favorite of 5-10.5 points, 5-0 on 2 days rest, 7-1-1 as a home favorite of 5-10.5 points, 6-1-2 after allowing 100 points or more, 4-1-1 in Sunday games, 20-5-1 as a home favorite, 23-7-2 against Western Conference teams, 25-8-4 after a straight up win, 36-12-4 overall, 3-1-1 against Northwest teams, 18-6-2 at home against teams with losing road records, 19-7-2 against teams with winning records, 20-8-3 after scoring 100 points or more, 33-15-5 as a favorite, 0-5-1 in conference quarterfinal games, and 0-5-1 as a playoff favorite, including 0-4-1 as a favorite of 5-10.5 points.

Some thought Utah would have too much size for San Antonio and the pesky Jazz might make this a series. They might steal a game or two at home in Salt lake City with the altitude and insane fanbase. However, San Antonio simply has too much depth. Popovich started Boris Diaw to counteract Utah’s size advantage. It seemed to work, and Diaw will start at least for this series. I think San Antonio wins and covers tonight.

Our NBA handicappers are red hot during the playoffs. Don’t miss out on anymore winners this season.

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