Parker tries to stay focused in Utah

On Wednesday, star guard Tony Parker scored 21 points just hours after his actress wife Eva...

On Wednesday, star guard Tony Parker scored 21 points just hours after his actress wife Eva Longoria filed divorce papers to end their three-year marriage in the Spurs' 103-94 win over Chicago. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files)

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, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

The sizzling San Antonio Spurs will try their luck in Salt Lake City on Friday when they take on a Utah Jazz club minus coach Jerry Sloan amidst some serious off-the-court turmoil.

On Wednesday, star guard Tony Parker scored 21 points just hours after his actress wife Eva Longoria filed divorce papers to end their three-year marriage in the Spurs' 103-94 win over Chicago. Parker made 9-of-14 shots to go along with seven assists despite rumors swirling that his marriage crumbled in the wake of a relationship with an ex-teammate's wife.

"It was a weird game," Parker said. "I had a rough start."

Manu Ginobili added 20 points with five assists against the Bulls, and Tim Duncan notched a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds to go along with five assists for the Spurs, who won their eighth straight game overall and matched the best start in franchise history at 9-1. Duncan is now just 12 points shy of David Robinson's all-time franchise scoring record of 20,790 points.

"In the second half, the defense picked up even more and the shots started to fall," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "I thought they showed a lot of grit and determination in the second half."

San Antonio, which hasn't won nine consecutive games since an 11-game spurt from Feb. 11-March 6, 2008, also started 9-1 in both 1980 and '81 before losing its 11th game in each of those seasons.

The Jazz, meanwhile, improved to 1-1 on a three-game residency on Wednesday when Deron Williams posted 23 points and eight assists, and all five Utah starters reached double figures in a 98-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

Paul Millsap posted 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who recovered after losing to Oklahoma City on Monday to post their sixth win in seven games. Al Jefferson added 16 points and nine boards, while Raja Bell and Andrei Kirilenko each had 15 points in the victory.

"We had to play a pretty good game to be able to beat them," Sloan said. "I thought they stayed in there, they're well coached, they did everything they could to get in the game. They missed some shots, and fortunately we made our free throws around the stretch."

Sloan will miss Utah's next two games to attend a family member's funeral with highly-regarded assistant coach Phil Johnson set to assume head coaching duties.

The Jazz swept the four-game season series between the two clubs last season.


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