The San Antonio Spurs swept into the second round of the NBA playoffs with an 87-81 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, erasing bitter memories of last year’s embarrassing first-round exit.
Western Conference top seeds San Antonio, who were stunned by Memphis in last year’s playoffs, sealed the best-of-seven series against Utah 4-0 with th eir 14th consecutive win.
Manu Ginobili scored 17 points while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan played sparingly, finishing with 11 points apiece.
Utah raised the home crowd’s hopes of avoiding the sweep by climbing out of a 21-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter, but San Antonio moved up a gear and put the Jazz away.
While the defeat marked the end of Utah’s season, their youthful roster have gained valuable playoff experience. Al Jefferson led them in scoring on Monday with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
San Antonio will next play the Los Angeles Clippers or Memphis Grizzlies in the next round.