SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker shooed away the NBA coach of the year. The San Antonio Spurs were ahead 36 points and he didn't want Gregg Popovich to end his night just yet.
"To stay in shape," Parker said.
That's how bad it got for the Utah Jazz. It was the third quarter of a playoff game, and Parker by then was practically treating it as just another workout.
Pummeling the Jazz in a fashion not seen since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls humiliated them in the 1998 NBA Finals, San Antonio handed Utah its second-worst playoff loss, winning 114-83 on Wednesday night to take 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
Parker scored 18 points, while Popovich — a day after receiving the NBA's highest coaching honor — could practically put the Spurs on autopilot after a 20-0 run in the second quarter. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin had admitted to being unusually jittery before losing Game 1, but this time, it was center Al Jefferson summing up how this shiner felt.
"Embarrassing," he said.
The only bigger embarrassment for the Jazz in the playoffs was that 42-point loss to Jordan's Bulls in 1998.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Salt Lake City.
It's the first time the Spurs have led a series 2-0 since opening the 2008 playoffs against Phoenix. San Antonio won that series in five, and unless the Jazz can shake this off, this one will be over just as quick.
If not sooner.
"I can't explain it. I couldn't explain it the other night," Jazz forward Paul Millsap said. "They came out and just whipped us."
It was a total collapse by the Jazz in spite of flying back to Salt Lake City after Game 1 and regrouping with two days of practice back home. There they had talked about adjustments and maybe giving Parker "a hard foul or two" to get him thinking twice about driving, but Parker didn't seem to have a dent on him before taking the entire fourth quarter off.
Jefferson and Millsap weren't any more imposing on offense than they were defensively. Jefferson scored 10 points, and Millsap had nine.
Popovich chalked the blowout more to the Jazz having a bad night — they shot 23 percent in the first half — than the Spurs dominating. Parker played 28 minutes and Popovich said the decision on when to take his star out was a struggle between keeping him in condition and not risking injury.