Spurs start road trip with a “W”

The Spurs started their annual Rodeo Road Trip on the right foot Monday night, picking up a win over the Utah Jazz 79-70 and taking the lead in the Western Conference by a half-game game over Dallas.
It was a bad shooting night for both teams, but the Spurs defense limited the Jazz to 70 points on 32 percent shooting in the first of three meetings between the Spurs and Jazz this season. Witht the win, the Spurs are now 35-10.
It was the first game former Spur Devin Brown has played against the Silver and Black. The San Antonio native signed a free agent contract with the Jazz this summer after his agent balked at the Spurs contract offers. Browns fate and future with the Spurs was then sealed after the Spurs were able to lure both Nick Van Exel and Michael Finley to the Alamo City.
Brown, UTSA’s all-time leading scorer, has had his share of problems adjusting to the Jazz and clashed with coach Jerry Sloan earlier this season, but has since shown an improved work ethic. In the past six games prior to tonights matchup to the Spurs, Brown has had point totals of 15, 23, 8, 13, 10 and 18. Brown didnt get much playing time against his old team, scoring two points in 12 minutes.
Tim Duncan led a balanced scoring attack with 19 points for the Spurs, who had five players in double figures. Tony Parker had a nice all-around game racking up 17 points, six assists and four rebounds. In his second game back, Manu Ginobili filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in limited minutes.
The Spurs also got some much needed scoring from two unlikely sources as Brice Bowen made the Jazz defense pay for leaving him wide open. Bowen had 13 points and four stealls while also locking down Gordan Giricek and Andrei Kirilenko. The pair shot a combined 3-of-21 from the field. With Nick Van Exel inactive, Beno Udrih scored 10 points in just over 15 minutes, which causes me to wonder, yet again, why Udrih has not replaced Van Exel in the rotation yet, but thats another blog.
The win against the Jazz tonight gives the Spurs their fourth straight win and they’ll be looking for their fifth and a 2-0 record on the Rodeo Road Trip when they travel to Portland to play Zach Randolph and the other Jr. Trailblazers Wednesday night at 9 p.m. CST. It’ll be Sebastian Telfair bobblehead night for the first 2,000 fans through the Rose Garden doors, but the rest of the Blazers fans and Spurs fans will get to see the real Telfair bobblehead when he tries to defend Tony Parker.
-Michael A. De Leon
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