The Spurs have quietly (at least, quietly to me), been historically good on the second night of a back-to-back, as told by this impressive stat.
Spurs have won their last 16 games on the second night of back-to-backs - the longest streak of wins with no days rest in the last 40 years.— Jordan Howenstine (@AirlessJordan) February 26, 2016
The Jazz have been hot though, winning nine of their last 12, so I expected a grind in Utah. The Spurs and Jazz got off to seemingly equal starts, going back and forth for the first half of the opening quarter. SA then became a tad lazy on defense and sloppy with the ball on offense.
LaMarcus Aldridge struggled offensively missing his first five attempts. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard had all of the Spurs points until Boris Diaw scooped in a reverse lay-up with 45 seconds to go in the quarter. It wasn't the prettiest of starts, and the Jazz took a 23-18 lead at the end of one.
The Jazz continued to bother the Spurs with their aggressive defense in the second and SA struggled to score. I'm not sure exactly how long it was, but the good guys went at least four minutes of gametime without a bucket. Tim Duncan was saving the Spurs from letting the game get away from them by crashing the offensive boards and strategically tipping the ball out off of misses for second chance opportunities.
The Spurs slowly but surely climbed back and took the lead with a 9-0 run with three and a half minutes left to go in the second quarter. Kawhi Leonard really got going and ended the half with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and lead SA to a 39-35 lead. The Spurs outscored the Jazz 15-4 in the final five minutes of the half.
Utah quickly tied the game up to start the second half, converting on their first five attempts, but the Spurs extended their lead back up to six and let it hover there for most of the third quarter. The Spurs did a good job defensively to close out the quarter and had a 65-57 lead.
Patty Mills knocked down two triples in the opening minutes of the final quarter, including an "and-1" three to put the Spurs up by eight, although he didn't convert the four-point play. The Spurs began to really click offensively mid-way through the fourth and a couple of threes from Kawhi and then one from Tony gave them a 16 point lead. Kawhi finished with 29 on 10-of-15
The Spurs coasted the final few minutes of the game to a comfortable 96-78 win, and improve to 49-9.