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Duncan, Spurs Beat Jazz to Take 2-0 Lead

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Ever since Robert Horry sent Steve Nash sprawling, the San Antonio Spurs have become a different team. The Spurs are 4-0 since the loss that featured Horry's suspension-inducing hit on the Phoenix point guard. The roll began with consecutive victories that finished off the Suns in the second round and has continued with two more in the conference finals against the Utah Jazz, the latest a 105-96 victory Tuesday night.

Tony Parker scored 17 points and had 14 assists, his most ever in a playoff game, putting San Antonio halfway to another trip to the NBA finals. History is on the Spurs' side as 55 of the 57 teams to win the first two games have ended up advancing.

``We're going to stay focused,'' Parker said. ``That's the key. You have to keep focusing and playing with the same intensity, same energy.''

Tim Duncan had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Manu Ginobili added 17 points. The Spurs shot 55.4 percent for the game and were 13-of-26 from behind the arc, setting a franchise playoff record for made 3s. Brent Barry hit three in a row to help break the game open in the second quarter and Bruce Bowen hit a trio in the fourth quarter to protect the lead.

``That's what they're giving us,'' Parker said. ``Every time I penetrate, they're wide open. They're forcing us to make outside shots and tonight we made those shots.''

The series shifts to Utah for Game 3 on Saturday night, and the Jazz could use a change in scenery. This was their 18th straight loss in San Antonio, with the last two following a nearly identical script.

After getting outscored 31-16 in the second quarter of Game 1, Utah was outscored 32-17 in the second quarter of Game 2. Like the opener, the Jazz put together several spurts in the second half but never enough to make the Spurs worry too much.

``It seemed like every time we got back into the game, we'd shoot ourselves in the foot, kind of self-destruct,'' Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. ``They just took advantage of our inability to see what's going on.''

Carlos Boozer bounced back from a poor game with 33 points and 15 rebounds. Deron Williams added 26 points and 10 assists.

Andrei Kirilenko had 15 points and Mehmet Okur scored 11, but the Jazz rarely had two players clicking at the same time. Derek Fisher was 1-of-9 and the bench produced a total of eight points.

``We proved we can score against this team, but we haven't proven we can stop them,'' Boozer said. ``If we tighten our defense up in Salt Lake, we can have a chance.''

This is the second time this postseason the Jazz go home dragging an 0-2 record.

They fought back in the first round against Houston, but Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and the Rockets are no comparison to Parker, Tim Duncan and the Spurs. And Utah knows it.

``We still have a chance,'' Williams said. ``But I think it's a lot worse to be down 2-0 to the Spurs than the Rockets. They have championships and guys who know how to win. They're also a much better road team.''

Yes, but San Antonio lost both its games in Salt Lake City this season, and the Spurs are well aware that the Jazz are 6-0 at home this postseason.

``They're going to be a lot more confident playing in that building,'' Duncan said. ``We're going to need to bring a much better effort than we had here to beat those guys.''

Before Utah can win, the Jazz are going to need to get a lead. They haven't had that since the seventh minute of the first game.

Utah trailed only 33-29 when San Antonio broke the game open with a 15-5 spurt, then an 8-2 run. The Spurs were ahead by 17 at halftime and got it to 22 early in the third quarter.

The Jazz got within seven points early in the fourth quarter, but consecutive 3-pointers from Bowen put the lead back into double digits until the final few seconds.

``They do things very efficiently,'' Sloan said of the Spurs. ``That's the mark of a very, very good team.''
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