Spurs to meet Suns in NBA playoffs
San Antonio clinch Western Conference third rank with a big win over Utah Jazz.
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2008 11:58 GMT

Tim Duncan, left, and Tony Parker, right, starred in San Antonio's final regular-season game [AFP]

The San Antonio Spurs thrashed the Utah Jazz 109-80 on the final day of the regular season to become the Western Conference third seed for the NBA playoffs.
Tony Parker had 24 points and 12 assists as last year's champions ended their league campaign on a high, setting up a first round playoff series against the sixth-seeded Phoenix Suns.
The Spurs and Suns met in a thrilling second round match-up last season which San Antonio won in six games on their way to a fourth NBA title in nine seasons.

The series was tough and physical, featuring numerous controversial fouls and creating bad feelings between the clubs.
"It's an unbelievable way to start the playoffs but that's how it is," Mike D'Antoni, Phoenix coach, told reporters after the Suns beat Portland 100-91.

The final seedings in the Western Conference were still undecided going into the last round of games, but San Antonio's win coupled with Houston's 93-75 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed the first round schedule.

"It's an unbelievable way to start the playoffs but that's how it is."

Mike D'Antoni,
Phoenix coach
The Spurs could have slipped to as low as sixth rank, but made light work of the Jazz, shooting 72 per cent in the first half to lead 65-39 at the break in a dominant display.

Tim Duncan contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds, with four other Spurs scoring in double digits.

C.J. Miles led the Jazz with 12 points, while Mehmet Okur scored 11 and Carlos Boozer had 10 rebounds.

Fifth-seeded Houston will meet fourth-seeded Utah in another first round series, while the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers will meet Denver, and Dallas face the second-seeded New Orleans Hornets.

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics hold the top seed after completing the regular season with the best overall record and will face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

The Hawks made the post-season with a 37-45 record in the much weaker conference of the two.

Second-seeded Detroit face Philadelphia, while third-seeded Orlando play Toronto and the fourth-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers will battle Washington in the final East first round series.

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