NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
San Antonio 27 38 28 20 113
Utah 21 25 29 29 104
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT1:00 , February 21, 2020
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah  Attendance: 18,306

Spurs resume uphill battle to postseason in Utah

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz

  1. The Spurs have lost five straight road games against the Jazz, tied for their longest active road losing streak against any opponent (also against Nuggets and Rockets).
  2. San Antonio has posted a winning record after the All-Star break in 21 straight seasons (excluding the 1998-99 season with no All-Star Game), the longest streak in NBA history.
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge is shooting 50.1 percent from the field, 40.7 percent from three-point range and 83.0 percent from the line this season. In NBA history, the only player 6-foot-11 or taller to finish a season with .500/.400/.800 shooting splits (minimum 1 3PM per team game) is Karl-Anthony Towns (in 2017-18 and 2018-19).
  4. The Jazz have won their last four games, this coming immediately after a five-game losing streak. If they win on Friday, it would mark only the second time in franchise history they followed up a 5+ game losing streak with a 5+ game winning streak (also in November 1977 while based in New Orleans).
  5. Utah has outrebounded its opponent by at least a dozen rebounds in four straight games, the longest streak for the Jazz in the last 30 years.
  6. Donovan Mitchell has scored at least 20 points in all six career games against the Spurs. Only six players have scored 20+ points in at least seven straight games against the Spurs to start their careers: Michael Jordan (18), Bob Lanier (12), Kevin Durant (12), John Drew (11), Damian Lillard (10) and Patrick Ewing (8).

The Utah Jazz will host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday in Salt Lake City with the All-Star break in the rearview mirror and 28 games left in the regular season.

The two teams carry different agendas into the final third of the campaign.

The Jazz, in fourth place in the West, have their sights set on moving up or, at the very least, keeping home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. San Antonio, meanwhile, is fighting an uphill battle just to get into the postseason.

After the Jazz beat the Miami Heat 116-101 on Feb. 12 in their final game before the All-Star break, Utah coach Quin Snyder lauded his team for playing hard and adjusting to both heightened expectations and up-and-down results.

"Tonight we just started playing really hard, and ... we've also learned to be a little smarter," Snyder said. "If we can keep building on those things, we've got a chance to improve in the second half of the year. That's what we need to do, keep getting better."

The Jazz return from the break a half-game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for third and 1 1/2 games back of the Denver Nuggets for second.

The two Utah players chosen to participate in the All-Star Game performed well in Chicago. Rudy Gobert scored 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting and added 11 rebounds, two assists and a block in 19 minutes for Team Giannis. Donovan Mitchell compiled seven points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 14 minutes for the same team.

San Antonio, which has also been off since Feb. 11, resumes its annual Rodeo Road Trip in Utah before completing the stretch of eight straight road games in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

The Spurs' run of 22 straight playoff appearances is tied for the top spot in NBA history with the Philadelphia 76ers, who were the Syracuse Nationals when they started their streak in 1950. San Antonio's postseason run is the longest active streak in any major North American pro sports league, and it will have to do a lot more, and play a lot better, to keep that run alive.

The Spurs' 23-31 record is their worst at the All-Star break since the 1996-97 season, which is the last time they failed to make the playoffs.

San Antonio went into the All-Streak break stuck in 10th place in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference.

After San Antonio beat Oklahoma City 114-106 in its last game before the All-Star break, coach Gregg Popovich had one directive for his players. The Spurs did not send a player to the All-Star Game.

"Just get away from basketball," Popovich said. "Don't even think about it. You need to clear your mind sometimes, and you'll be more ready when you come back."

The victory against the Thunder ended a five-game slide for the Spurs, with all the losses coming on their current trip.

Popovich has described this season's team as being "defensively challenged." A number of close losses can be attributed to the Spurs' defensive breakdowns and untimely lapses, especially late in games.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 20, 2020

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