Ginobili ends slump as Spurs sweep Jazz 87-81
"Some people thought it was over and the Jazz ran it right at us," Popovich said of the Jazz chipping away at the 21-point lead. "They don't quit. They are a class team and a class organization and (coach) Ty (Corbin) is continuing that."
Corbin helped get the Jazz to this point after being thrust into a chaotic situation last February when Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan abruptly quit and the team traded superstar point guard Deron Williams two weeks later.
Then, in his first full season as coach, he had a lockout-shortened training camp to try to pull the pieces together.
While he admitted a bout of nerves before Game 1, Corbin settled in.
"We've shown when things are bad, we are going to continue to fight," Corbin said. "Any time you have a game against us, you are going to know you have been in a fight."
The Spurs acknowledged as much, with Stephen Jackson calling Monday's game perhaps the most physical he has endured.
Favors helped ensured that.
He had two blocks and two steals to go along with his 16 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was a good experience, going out there playing against the Spurs," said Favors, who was acquired along with Harris in the blockbuster trade that sent Williams to New Jersey last year. "It was a challenge. I thought I stepped up to the plate."
The series was a learning experience for all Jazz players, what with four of them 22 or younger and the entire team having played half as many playoff games than the Spurs.
"The Spurs are a very good team. We're a very young team," Harris said. "But any experience in the playoffs for our young guys is a good thing. ... We definitely learned some things from a team like the Spurs, the way they play together, the way they stay poised in the fourth quarter, how they really execute. They've won four championships for a reason."
The Spurs are seeking their fifth NBA title, having won in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, going through the Jazz for the last of the championships.
After being knocked out by Memphis in the first round last season, they are looking to make amends, and now have the momentum of a 14-game winning streak.
While the Spurs may have a week to rest before playing their next game, the Jazz will be clearing out their lockers Tuesday — some perhaps for good. Raja Bell has another year left on his contract, but after opening the year as a starter, did not play a minute in postseason.
The Jazz also have to decide if they can keep all of their big men.
Notes: The Jazz have lost eight straight playoff games as they were swept by the Lakers in the second round two years ago. It was only the second first-round sweep in Jazz history, the other coming in 1989. ... San Antonio's bench outscored Utah's 33-4 in the first half, with DeJuan Blair, Stephen Neal and Jackson getting six points apiece while Ginobili, Matt Bonner and Splitter had five each. ... The Spurs shot 56 percent or better in the first quarter of the first three games, averaging 28.7 points. But they shot just 39.1 percent in the opening quarter of Game 4 and scored just 22 points. ... Utah lost despite a 57-43 advantage on the boards.
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