Notes on a scorecard: Can the Spurs’ perimeter shooting carry them in the playoffs?

The Spurs finished up their home regular season schedule Saturday with the kind of game that has marked their season.

Their 57.7 percent shooting percentage was one of their best efforts of the season as they hit for eight 3-pointers en route to a 111-102 victory over Utah.

The Spurs already have broken the previous team record  for 3-pointers, set in 2008-09 with 625 3-pointers. They currently have 671 for the season.

If they maintain their current pace of about eight 3-pointers a game in their final two games of the season, they will finish among the top 21 teams in NBA history in terms of total 3-pointers made.

And that’s the rub. None of those teams have won a championship. The high for an NBA championship team was Houston in 1994-95 with 646 3-pointers.

Those long jumpers sometimes miss, leading to easy transition buckets on long rebounds by the other team. The Spurs have seen that happen occasionally this season.

It will be interesting to see if Gregg Popovich dials back the perimeter game and tries to win with a more balanced attack in the playoffs.

Past history shows that some kind of  transformation will be necessary to be able to win a championship.

But can this team change its stripes in the playoffs? We’ll have to wait and see, beginning next weekend.

Here are a few other notes and tidbits after the Spurs’ fourth straight victory after their season-worst six-game losing streak.

  • The Spurs featured seven players in double figures and almost had two more as George Hill (nine points) and Matt Bonner (seven points) just missed. The Spurs are now 3-0 when seven Spurs score in double figures and 2-1 in games where eight players reach double figures.
  • Richard Jefferson led the team with 20 points. It was his first 20-point effort since scoring 22 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 10.  Jefferson notched three 20-point efforts in the first seven games of the season and then produced a high of 19 over the next 72 games before Saturday night.
  • Jefferson also continued a recent shooting binge. He’s averaging 10.8 points in his last six games. And he’s shooting 61.5 percent from the field and 64.3 percent from 3-point range during the Spurs’ four-game winning streak.
  • Tiago Splitter finished with 13 points and eight rebounds – with 10 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes in the fourth quarter. It was Splitter’s fourth-highest scoring game of the season and tied for fifth in rebounds. His 18 minutes, 56 seconds of playing time was his most since making his last start against Portland on March 28 in a game where he produced 14 points and nine rebounds. In his previous four games before Saturday, Splitter was averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds and three times in those four games he played 4:12 or less.
  • Tony Parker played 29:15 against the Jazz, marking the third time in four games he’s played 30 minutes or less. His 13 points and seven assists helped him continue a recent shooting surge since a 2-for-11 outing against Phoenix three games ago. Since then, Parker is averaging 18 points per game, shooting 60 percent from the field and averaging 5.7 assists per game.
  • DeJuan Blair got his first start since March 6, and produced 12 points and seven rebounds in 24:21. It marked his second-longest playing stint since his demotion. His 12 points marked his most since scoring 14 points in back-to-back games on March 11-12. Blair hit 6-for-9 from the field in a turnaround from a recent mini-slump where he had averaged 4.8 points and shot 37.9 percent from the field in his previous six games.
  • Manu Ginobili benefitted from some rest, playing only 27:21 to mark his third game in the last four with less than 30 minutes. Ginobili is averaging 18.3 points, shooting 58.8 percent from the field and averaging five assists in his last three games.
  • Ginobili failed to attempt a 3-pointer. It was the first game where he has failed to attempt a 3-pointer since Game 4 of the first round of the 2008 playoffs against Phoenix. He also notched six assists for the 36th time this season. When Ginobili has at least six assists, the Spurs are 27-9 (.750). In the rest of their games, they are 43-10 (.811).
  • Gary Neal’s recent surge continued with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. It marked his fourth double-figure scoring game in his last five games. During that span, he’s hitting 60.6 percent from the field and 60 percent of his 3-pointers.
  • Tim Duncan notched 10 points, three rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots in 22:23. Before Saturday, in his five games since returning the lineup from his sprained ankle, Duncan was averaging 16.0 points and 8.8 rebounds.
  • Duncan had four blocked shots marking among his top nine games of the season in that statistic. In games where Duncan has blocked at least three shots this season, the Spurs are 26-0.  It marked the fifth time this season that he has produced at least 10 points, three rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots in the same game.
  • Hill’s string of double-figure scoring games was snapped at three after scoring nine points. Hill had averaged 20.3 points in his previous three games, hitting 55.3 percent from the field during that span.
  • The Spurs had limited opponents to less than 30 points in 16 quarters before allowing Utah to score 30 points in the third quarter. The last time an opponent scored more than 30 came in the second quarter of the loss at Houston last week.
  • The Spurs hit 57.7 percent from the field after hitting 60.5 percent against Sacramento in their last game. They have hit at least 50 percent from the field in four of their last five games. In games where they have shot 50 percent or better this season, they are 26-4, including 16-0 at home.
  • San Antonio shot 75 percent from the field in the second quarter, coming close to their season high for the second quarter of 78.6 percent against Detroit on March 9. And they shot 80 percent from the field in the third quarter, just less than the 82.6 percent they shot in the third quarter against Sacramento on Wednesday night.
  • The Spurs allowed Utah to hit 53.8 percent from the field. It was the first time an opponent hit better than 50 percent since Boston hit 54.8 percent last week. When opponents hit 50 percent or etter, the Spurs are 7-13, including 4-4 at home.  
  • James Anderson and Danny Green did not play. Da’Sean Butler, Chris Quinn and Antonio McDyess were inactive.
  • Hill led the team with a plus-minus score  of plus-11. Jefferson was at plus-10. Duncan was plus-9. Splitter had the only negative score at minus-1. The San Antonio starters were plus-24. The bench was plus-21. Utah’s starters were minus-36 and the Jazz’s bench was minus-9. 

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