Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Spurs' Popovich up to No. 5

Published:Thursday | January 4, 2018 | 12:00 AM
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (right) passes the ball against New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (left) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday in New York. The Spurs won 100-91.


He's now the fifth-winningest coach in NBA history, though there are some things Gregg Popovich still doesn't know.

Like what everybody was yelling about after Manu Ginobili sank an overthrown pass for a 3-pointer, for example.

He was just as fooled initially as the referees and didn't realise the ball had gone in the basket, the most bizarre bucket of San Antonio's 100-91 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

"I did not, in all honestly. I did not," Popovich said.

"Then everybody started grabbing me and saying the ball went in. I said, 'Yeah, the ball went in!' I acted like I knew what was going on."

He almost always does.

Popovich earned his 1,176th victory, all with the Spurs. The five-time champion broke a tie with his friend George Karl.


Season-high points


LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points and Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25 for the Spurs. Ginobili finished with 12 points three of them coming on what appeared to be a pass that went into the basket without everyone noticing.

"He makes magic happen," Aldridge said. "He's the only 40-year-old that can make plays like he does every night."

The Spurs beat the Knicks for the second time in six days, and won for the fourth time in five games. They beat New York 119-107 on December 28.

Michael Beasley had 18 points for the Knicks, who were playing one of just four home games this month. They play 12 times on the road.

Kristaps Porzingis shot just 5 for 19, and was one of three Knicks to finish with 13 points.

"They just for 48 minutes played consistently," Porzingis said. "They talk on defence. And they also know when they need to push the pace and when they need to slow it down."

Other results:

Tuesday's games: Cleveland 127 Portland 110; San Antonio 100 New York 91; Phoenix 104 Atlanta 103; Charlotte 131 Sacramento 111; Clippers 113 Memphis 105.