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Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Jazz

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (9-1) vs. UTAH JAZZ (8-4)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.2 Tim Duncan 9.8 Tony Parker 7.6
JAZZ Deron Williams 22.3 Paul Millsap 9.5 Deron Williams 10.1
The San Antonio Spurs (9-1) can set a  new team record after tying their best 10 game start in franchise history with a 103-94 win over the Chicago Bulls last Wednesday. The Spurs also started 9-1 in 1980 and 1981 but lost their 11th game, it will be up to Tim Duncan and company to changed that trend and try to extend their winning streak to nine games.

The Utah Jazz (8-4) are coming off a 98-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets after their five game winning streak were halted by a 115-108 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Tim Duncan might reach another milestone, and has a good chance to surpass David Robinson as the Spurs’ career scoring leader against the Jazz. Duncan is only 12 points shy of Robinson’s all-time franchise scoring record of 20,790 points.

The Jazz will enter this ball game feeling pretty good about themselves. They won all four season games against the Spurs last year, although with some lineup changes from both teams, they outcome could be different this time around.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense –Tim Duncan had a bounce back game against the Bulls, and against an imposing frontline of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson he will have his handful. However, the Spurs should have enough firepower with Richard Jefferson on the wings and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on the backcourt.

Defense
– It will be key for the Spurs to contain Deron Williams on offense. Plus they will have to limit the Jazz’s inside scoring, controlling the boards and interior defense are two main things they will have to focus on the defensive end of the floor.

JAZZ:

Offense — Deron Williams leads their offensive attack and his ability to get his teammates involve on offense will be key. He will also have a lot of help on offense. Entering this game, five Jazz players are averaging in double figures. 

Defense — It will be key for the Jazz to limit the Spurs’ dribble penetrations and inside game, but they also have to be wary of the Spurs’ outside shooting. The Spurs are making 44.2% of their shots from beyond the arc.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Jazz — Paul Millsap – severe head cold (day-to-day), Al Jefferson – sore lower back (day-to-day), C.J. Miles – back (game time decision)

PREDICTION: The Spurs might be looking for some payback when they visit the Jazz for the first time this season, while Utah Jazz could be feeling confident about themselves. Like the Spurs, they are also playing well and had four impressive come from behind victories early this season.
However, the Spurs will be determined to end their losing streak against the Utah Jazz and may end up stealing one in Salt Lake City. This game is going to be a battle, and I believe the Spurs can get it done and extend their winning streak to nine games.

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21 

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