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Utah Jazz instant analysis: San Antonio soundly defeats Utah to continue its winning ways

Published: Sunday, March 16 2014 9:55 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz's Alec Burks, right, is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Aron Baynes, left, as he tries to score during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-104. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP) Utah Jazz's Alec Burks, right, is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Aron Baynes, left, as he tries to score during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-104. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP)

It can safely be said that any reports of the San Antonio Spurs’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Utah Jazz and the rest of the NBA continue to learn this lesson and may continue learning this lesson for years to come. As has been the case the past many matchups, the Spurs once again came out on top, defeating the Jazz 122-104.

Each passing year, some predict San Antonio’s decline, but if it has a window of opportunity to keep contending, that has to be one very big window. Thanks to stellar coaching, shrewd management, a strong system and elite players, the Spurs not only silence those whispers, but turn things up the second half of the season. With its victory over Utah, San Antonio not only built upon the best record in the NBA, but now has its 15th consecutive 50-win season.

The rebuilding Jazz squad played hard and kept things within striking distance midway through the third quarter. The Spurs then pounced with a quick, decisive run that made the evening’s end result anything but suspenseful. San Antonio outscored Utah each quarter.

Utah Jazz's Alec Burks, right, is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Boris Diaw, left, of France, as he tries to score during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-104. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP) Utah Jazz's Alec Burks, right, is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Boris Diaw, left, of France, as he tries to score during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 122-104. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP)

The Jazz are now tied for the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

Balanced attack: San Antonio keeps getting Hall of Fame contributions from its future Hall of Fame players, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The trio combined a relatively effortless 55 points and 15 assists, with each playing 30 or fewer minutes. But the Spurs' role players came through as well. Tiago Splitter (14 points), Marco Belinelli (12), Patty Mills (12) and Kawhi Leonard (11) all reached double-figures and each San Antonio player who toiled 10 or more minutes had a positive +/- mark (Conversely, every Jazz player who did so was negative).

Favors’ explosion: Utah’s Derrick Favors had one of his best games of the season, despite it coming in a losing effort. The big man was aggressive and decisive with his moves, taking it right at Duncan for much of the evening. While he missed his final three shots, Favors finished 12-of-19 from the floor. He scored on a variety of moves. Favors finished with a game-high 28 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) is blocked from behind by San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, right, of Argentina, as Aron Baynes assists on the play during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP) Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) is blocked from behind by San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, right, of Argentina, as Aron Baynes assists on the play during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, AP)

Odds and ends:

• San Antonio hit 10-of-16 3-pointers — good for 62.5 percent.

• In the second quarter, Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin went with a very small front court with Jeremy Evans at center and Marvin Williams at power forward.

• Utah only had eight turnovers.

David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also writes for Salt City Hoops (ESPN's Jazz affiliate). He can be reached at mechakucha1@gmail.com or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.

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