Hayward scores 14, Jazz beat Spurs 101-97

Bobo why do you only try against us?  
     Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Bobo why do you only try against us? Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have given Utah depth that few teams can match.

The seventh-year Jazz forward will play in his first playoff game since 2012 after scoring 14 in a 101-97 regular-season finale win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

Both the Jazz and Spurs played all their players for most of the game, but turned it over to the reserves down the stretch.

Exum is just one of two healthy point guards on the Jazz and will go head-to-head with one of NBA's greats at the position, the Clippers' Chris Paul who has schooled the Australian in the past. "They've shown the ability all season to do that and step up in big situations".

Most people understand how hard it is for a team to go into a hostile building and come out with a win against one of the best teams in the West. A loss by the Clippers and a Jazz victory over San Antonio gives Utah the No. 4 seed.

ABOUT THE JAZZ (50-31): Point guard George Hill (groin) returned from a six-game absence to score 19 points in 20 minutes against the Warriors and he is expected to play similar minutes against the Spurs.

Rodney Hood chipped in 10 points off the bench for the Jazz.

Spurs projected starting lineup: PG - Tony Parker, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawhi Leonard, PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, C - Pau Gasol. Gobert played a team-high 29 minutes for Utah. It has played limited minutes (62) but when it has been on the floor, they have outscored opponents 148-114. "It was a good experience for them and good workouts for everybody else".

The Jazz announced he suffered a bruised left quadriceps in the third quarter of the loss, setting up the possibility of holding him out for Utah's final two regular-season games - against Golden State and San Antonio.

San Antonio (61-21) closed the regular season on a four-game losing streak. "It's very humbling", Gasol said. "That's one thing. And the team should be hungry". "This time a year ago we all would have been booking our flights to wherever we were going on vacation". Now is not time to play around. San Antonio rallied and cut the deficit in half early in the third quarter. The Spurs kept applying pressure early in the fourth quarter and finally took a 90-89 lead after Dejounte Murray capped a 9-1 run with a driving floater. Should Derrick Favors come off the bench?

Davis Bertans gave the Spurs a 97-96 lead on a corner 3-pointer, but Alec Burks answered with one of his own to put Utah ahead for good heading into the final minute.

The person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team hasn't announced any deal says Jones, who helped the Cavaliers win a title past year, will join the team today. "It was good to see that tonight with different guys contributing".

NOTES: Jazz G Raul Neto missed his second straight game because of an ankle sprain.

Pau Gasol became the 43rd player in National Basketball Association history to top 20,000 points in his career. But by not having home court advantage, the expectations on the team are reduced for the first two road games. San Antonio finished with 42-36 advantage on the boards. The Jazz went back in front on a dunk from Gobert and extended their lead to 11-6 on back-to-back layups from Boris Diaw and Hill. Truck Robinson set the record with 1,288 rebounds in 1977-78.

All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard looks playoff ready and made 23-of-38 field-goal attempts over his past three games.

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