(Sporting Alert) — Manu Ginobili scored 17 points coming off the bench and the San Antonio Spurs swept the Utah Jazz in four games to progress to the next round after an 87-81 victory on Monday night.
Ginobili shot 50-percent from the three-point range on three of six shooting in his 27 minutes on the court.
The experienced six-man who went 0 for 8 from 3-point range in the first three games, came up big when San Antonio needed him to fend off the gallant late game run from the Jazz.
“I wasn’t making many shots, but I wasn’t taking that many either,” said Ginobili. “I really wasn’t that worried.
“I was happy that the team was playing as well as we were. We were 3-0 and winning those games with authority.”
Gary Neal, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker all ended with 11 points in the win that saw the Spurs taking the first round series 4-0 at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Al Jefferson finished with a game high 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Utah Jazz.
Devin Harris added 19 points and seven assists, Derrick Favors had 16 points and 10 boards, while Paul Millsap contributed 19 rebounds and 10 points in the defeat.
“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.”
In the night’s other night, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 101-97 in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead.
Paul finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Clippers took a step closer to taking their second playoff series victory in 36 years.
“It’s fun, it’s exciting,” said Paul.
Paul took the responsibility of not getting the winner in regulation time.
“The worst mistake I probably made in the game was not getting the shot at the end of regulation,” he said. “If I was at home watching it on TV, I’d be talking so bad about me.
“But you’ve got to get through it. The [best] thing about it is that I have teammates that have confidence in me. Everything that we do is a team win.”
While Paul and Clippers were closing out the game, star forward Blake Griffin was on the bench – all fouled out – but he scored 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds before taking his permanent spot on the bench for the rest of the game.
Caron Butler added 14 points in the victory.
Meanwhile, Mike Conley Rudy Gay led the way for the Memphis Grizzlies with 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Rudy Gay had 23 points and seven rebounds, while Zach Randolph added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Gay took the time commend Paul for his outstanding night.
“It’s Chris Paul. He made his name off doing that,” Gay said. “He’s a tough guard.
“We can try and make it tougher on him, but still he’s going to make plays and make his teammates better. That’s what he’s been doing.”