SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard doesn't always save his best for the second half, but he did the last two games.
Two days earlier, Leonard scored 20 of his 28 in the second half, including 13 in the third quarter, of a 100-95 win at Oklahoma City.
Leonard hit all three of his 3-point shots against Utah after missing 19 of 21 -- including 17 straight -- in the previous three games.
With the loss, Utah (47-30) leads the Los Angeles Clippers by a half game for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Utah trailed by just four after a short jump shot by Joe Johnson with 2:24 remaining, but San Antonio created some separation with a basket inside by Simmons, assisted by Gasol, and two free throws by Kyle Anderson (10 rebounds).
Utah starting point guard George Hill and his primary backup, Raul Neto, missed their third consecutive game, both with strained groins. Starting forward Derrick Favors missed the game, his 13th straight, with a left knee contusion.
NOTES: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Utah coach Quin Snyder deserves consideration for NBA coach of the year. Popovich also mentioned Miami's Erik Spoelstra, Houston's Mike D'Antoni, Philadelphia's Brett Brown and Memphis' David Fizdale. Brown is a former assistant to Popovich, and Snyder coached the Spurs' D-League team in Austin from 2007-10. He previously worked as a college and NBA assistant and head college coach at Missouri. "Even as a player in college (Duke), he was more cerebral than super talented," Popovich said. "When he started coaching in college, you could see that he was creative, he was clever. He's passionate and he's got a wealth of ideas." ... Former Spurs F Boris Diaw joined the Jazz this season, bringing with him vast experience and the espresso maker he keeps in his locker. "He's got, like, six guys drinking espresso now," Snyder said. "One of the biggest things is his unselfishness, his passing. Players learn things from each other."