The Jazz finally got the performance they were looking for from Devin Harris.
Turns out, his struggles in the first two games didn't fully explain the difference.
Harris scored 21 points in the 102-90 loss Saturday after combining for just 12 points in the two losses in San Antonio.
"It was encouraging I had a good game," Harris said, "but it means nothing because we didn't win the game."
Harris notched a team-high 20 points through three quarters, but did not attempt a field goal in the fourth. He finished with five assists to go along with his scoring output, which tied Al Jefferson for the Jazz's best.
In the regular season, Harris was the Jazz's fourth-leading scorer, with 11.3 points per game.
The Jazz point guard may have caught a bit of a break early when coach Tyrone Corbin opted to have the taller Gordon Hayward defend Spurs point guard Tony Parker.
"It may have saved some energy for him on the defensive end," Corbin said, "but I thought he did a great job, in the beginning of the game especially, setting the tone for us, pushing it down, attacking."
While Harris was good, Parker was better. He finished with a game-high 27 points and six assists in 39 minutes.
In the first quarter, Harris was the Jazz's best offensive weapon: attacking, pulling up and, at one point, spinning away from Parker, planting his feet and nailing a jump shot.
Troubling for the Jazz was that when Harris, who was 5 of 16 from the field entering Game 3, stepped up, it seemed to merely displace someone else's productivity.
"It's going to take more than one or two of us to have a good game," he said. "To beat this team it's going to take a full-out effort."