Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina made history Wednesday night as San Antonio defeated the Indiana Pacers 106-100 at home.
Messina, who subbed in at head coach for Gregg Popovich, made history as the first European-born coach to win an NBA game. Popovich was out for the game after undergoing a minor medical procedure.
Nov 26, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) shoots the ball in front of Indiana Pacers point guard Donald Sloan (15) during the second half at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 106-100. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Italian born coach, Messina, also became the first European-born coach to coach an NBA team.
When you coach a team with as much talent as the San Antonio Spurs though, winning is the least of your concerns.
The Spurs backed up that notion tonight, using an 18-2 run in the fourth quarter to surge past the Pacers.
San Antonio did find themselves trailing early in the game though, finding themselves trailing 55-50 at the half against an injury depleted Indiana team. The Spurs resiliency in the second half wrote the days’ story, however, with San Antonio outscoring the Pacers 56-45 in the final 24 minutes.
Most of that comeback was a result of the Spurs hot shooting. San Antonio finished the game shooting 55.4% from the field and made nine more free throws than Indiana.
The Spurs also dominated the Pacers on the glass, 45 rebounds to 36, and in points in the paint, 54 to 40.
San Antonio’s offensive effort was led by the Spurs “big four” who accounted for 87 of the team’s 106 points. Manu Ginobili was the leader of that bunch, coming off the bench to provide 28 points in less than 27 minutes. Kawhi Leonard was also fantastic recording a 21 point 13 rebound double-double
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On the other side, the Pacers were led by Rodney Stuckey who finished with 22 points. Unfortunately for Indiana, Stuckey did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 16 on 7-of-13 shooting through the first 24 minutes.
The Pacers’ struggles were a result of not being able to keep up with the Spurs hot shooting and the team failing to score late in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the Spurs won their fifth straight and eighth in their last nine, improving to 10-4 on the season. Indiana dropped to 6-9 with the loss.
Next up for the San Antonio Spurs is the conclusion of this quick, three game road stand on Friday against the scorching Sacramento Kings, a team the Spurs have already defeated this season.
What do you think about the Spurs’ win? Let us know in the comments!