Thursday, December 8, 2022



NBA – Spurs beat Utah and Popovich is a record man | Playon99 News



San Antonio Spurs beat Utah Jazz 104-102 in a great duel that will go down in history: Gregg Popovich became the coach with the most wins in NBA history. The Texans won against a great rival and are pushing to enter the Play-In.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

San Antonio Spurs had a tough stop against Utah Jazz -fourth in the Western Conference- with the extra spice that a victory would make Greg Popovich the winningest coach in NBA history.

The Texan team did not shake a pulse and deployed the best they had to take their coach to the top: they defeated the Jazz 104-102 in a duel that had them as underdogs in the first three-quarters of the game.

The Spurs had not started well and were down 30-33 in the first quarter, but it was even worse: they went to the break with a score of 50-59.

Everyone was waiting for a washout in the locker room and by the third quarter the difference in the defeat was stretched. With another quiet partial by Utah Jazz, the score went to 64-74 and seemed to have no way back.

San Antonio Spurs reacted for the last quarter of the game and threw the meat on the grill: Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poltl lifted the team and won a game that needed a difference in favor of 12 points at the end of the game.

The performances of Murray (27+9+4), Poeltl (15+11+1) and Zach Collins (15+5+3) for the Spurs and Donovan Mitchell (24+7+6), Jordan Clarkson (17+8) and Hassan Whiteside (13+10) for the Jazz were left out of what happened when the buzzer sounded and San Antonio’s victory was decreed.

Gregg Popovich reached 1336 wins as an NBA coach and surpassed Don Nelson, his friend, and mentor, as the man with the most wins as a head coach in the National Basketball Association.

After a 25-year career – he made his debut in 1996 – Popovich reached the milestone with special spices such as the fact that he never moved from the San Antonio Spurs bench.

In his extraordinary exercise of loyalty with the Spurs, Popovich has won five NBA rings between 1999 and 2014 -1999, 2003, 2005, 2005, 2007, and 2014-in what offers an idea of the longevity of his success.

He led the San Antonio Spurs to NBA Playoffs in 22 consecutive seasons and in all of them he was above 50% regular-season wins.

He also holds the distinction of becoming the first coach to reach 2,000 games with a single team.

The Olympic gold in Tokyo was the cherry on top of his career: only Wilkens, Chuck Daily, and Rudy Tomjanovich had won the NBA and the Olympics as coaches.

The figure is colossal, but even more so when compared to entire franchises: Popovich has more wins than Orlando Magic (1,230), Minnesota Timberwolves (1,041), Toronto Raptors (1,018), Memphis Grizzlies (910), and New Orleans Pelicans (731).

In the NBA’s 75-year history, only three other coaches had the honor of leading the National Basketball Association in wins: Red Auerbach (1947-95), Lenny Wilkens (1995-2010), and Don Nelson (10-22).

Popovich accumulates more NBA games than 14 current coaches combined and more wins than the combined 15 of them, half the total.

It is unknown if these numbers can continue to grow much more because there has long been speculation about a retirement that, fortunately, never comes, but perhaps, having already turned 73 years old, we are facing his last active season.

To understand the figure of Popovich, it would be necessary to add to his victories a tremendous influence in world basketball, but especially in the NBA: his bench was a breeding ground for coaches like Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee Bucks), James Borrego (Charlotte Hornets) and Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns), while he was in charge of players who are now coaches like Ime Udoka (Boston Celtics).



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