NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (34-34) at San Antonio Spurs (52-16), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Tony Parker will be "active and probable" when the San Antonio Spurs host the Utah Jazz Friday night.
The All-Star guard has been out of action since Feb. 27 with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain.
If the Jazz have any intentions on making a run to the playoffs, they have to start playing better on the road.
Mired in a seven-game road losing streak, the chances of Utah improving its road woes Friday night are slim in a matchup with the Spurs.
The Jazz opened a three-game tour of Texas with Wednesday's 90-83 loss against the Houston Rockets as Gordon Hayward scored 27 points and Al Jefferson added 18 points and 11 rebounds in defeat. Utah, which has dropped 10 of 13 games overall and is 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.
"We're still in the fight," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "We're still alive. We've slid and this is a tough loss for us but we're still in the fight and we'll approach every game trying to contain and compete to win the ball game and we'll see where that goes."
Utah trailed by as many as 26 points and was able to trim the deficit to 87-79 late in the game. However, the Rockets were too much and also needed to boost its postseason status.
The Jazz are 10-25 away from Salt Lake City and will wrap up the Lone Star State sojourn Sunday at Dallas.
San Antonio will close out a four-game homestand before heading to Houston and has won four in a row in the Alamo City.
The Spurs improved to 3-0 on the homestand with Wednesday's 104-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors, who have lost 29 in a row at San Antonio. Tim Duncan had 25 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, while Tiago Splitter added 17 points and seven boards for the Spurs, who are 6-2 since Parker went down with a left ankle sprain.
Manu Ginobili had 16 points and seven assists off the bench in the win.
"Timmy has his rhythm back," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's in great shape and down the stretch we went through him. Manu and Timmy really decided to do that on their own and they did a great job of it."
San Antonio is 29-4 at home and leads the Western Conference by 2 1/2 games over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs are also closing in on another Southwest Division title. After visiting the Rockets on Sunday, the Spurs, who are 7-2 in the last nine games overall, will return home for three tough games versus the Nuggets, Clippers and Heat.
The Spurs and Jazz have split two meetings this season with each team winning as the host. San Antonio has still won seven of the past nine contests with Utah, which has lost four straight and 24 of its last 26 in the Alamo City.
03/22 11:55:34 ET