The San Antonio Spurs completed a 4-0 sweep of Utah in their NBA first-round series, beating the Jazz 87-81 on Monday.
Manu Ginobili broke out of his shooting slump with 17 points. He went none-for-eight from beyond the arc in the first three games, but after Utah pulled within 61-58 with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third, he hit consecutive three-pointers, then added another as the Spurs regained control, taking a 76-58 lead early in the fourth.
The Jazz went scoreless for more than eight minutes during a 15-0 Spurs run.
Utah made a furious charge late and they were within 83-79 with 49 seconds left, but Ginobili’s fast-break layup after a steal by Tony Parker sealed it.
Utah’s “Big Three” lineup, with Derrick Favors at power forward, kept the Jazz close, but San Antonio’s bench made the difference, outscoring the Jazz’s reserves 47-10.
Top seeds San Antonio advanced to the second round and they await the winner of the Grizzlies-Clippers series, which may not be settled until Sunday.
The Spurs are on a 14-game winning streak and looking to make amends for a first-round upset by Memphis last year.
The Jazz have lost eight straight playoff games as they were swept by the Lakers in the second round two years ago. It was only the second first-round sweep in Utah history, the other coming in 1989.
The young, inexperienced Jazz put up a fight at the end, but it was too little, too late.
The Spurs won Game 1 by 15 points, Game 2 by 31 and Game 3 by 12, relying on Most Valuable Player candidate Parker and the deepest bench in the league.
With Parker scoring 11 points on four-of-14 shooting on Monday, and starters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green struggling offensively, San Antonio’s bench picked up the slack.
Tim Duncan added 11 points and was the only other starter in double figures for the Spurs.
Al Jefferson led Utah with 26 points on 13-of-19 shooting, with 10 rebounds. Devin Harris added 19 points, but shot just six of 17.
Favors, making his first post-season start, added 16 points, and he also blocked shots by Parker and Tiago Splitter.
CLIPPERS 101, GRIZZLIES 97, OT
In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored eight of his 27 points in a dynamic overtime performance, leading Los Angeles to a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies that put the Clippers up 3-1 in their series and on the brink of only their second playoff series victory in 36 years.
Blake Griffin had 30 points and seven assists, before fouling out with 2:26 left in overtime for the Clippers, who blew a 10-point lead in the final 4:30 of regulation, before their All-Star point guard took charge in overtime.
Mike Conley scored a career playoff-high 25 points and Rudy Gay had 23 on eight-of-25 shooting for the Grizzlies, who could not match Paul’s late-game poise in another thrilling chapter of a highly entertaining series.
Game 5 is today in Memphis, with Game 6 back at the Staples Center on Friday if necessary.
After Paul hit consecutive jumpers in the final 1:16 of overtime, Conley’s layup with 8.1 seconds remaining trimmed the Clippers’ lead back to two points, but Mo Williams added two free throws for Los Angeles with 7.2 seconds left to seal the win.
Caron Butler, playing with a broken bone in his left hand, scored 14 points for the Clippers, who still should not be comfortable in a thrilling series. Memphis, who outrebounded Los Angeles 47-36, could not close the victory.