San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich lost his cool and his team lost the game, falling to the Utah Jazz 100-96 in Salt Lake City.
Popovich was ejected with 10.4 seconds left in the third quarter following a loose ball foul by Aron Baynes. Emotions were high from the Spurs head coach as his team was unable to stick it to one of the weaker teams in the Western Conference, especially following two days of rest.
Dec 9, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) dribbles the ball as San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15) defends during the first quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Utah seemed to just barely keep San Antonio at arm’s length the whole time, finding a way to maintain close to a five point lead for the entire night.
After leading by one at the end of the first quarter, 22-21, the Spurs were unable to find a way to put the Jazz away, trailing at the end of each of the final three quarters.
San Antonio did have a good chance at claiming the victory towards the end of this game though. The Spurs battled back from a 10 point deficit in the final two minutes, cutting the lead to four with 31.7 seconds left. Unfortunately, San Antonio was unable to complete the comeback, falling just short in the final seconds.
Struggles from the free throw line and from three-point land also contributed to the Spurs loss. San Antonio shot just 60.9% at the line and 20% from distance. Utah did not shoot much better, but, any difference in efficiency, even a minor one, makes all the difference in a close game.
The Jazz attack was led by Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward. Favors finished with 21 points and eight rebounds while Hayward added 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
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For the Spurs, it was the heroics of Tim Duncan that helped to make this game close instead of a blowout loss for San Antonio. Duncan led the way for the Spurs, posting 23 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks. Kawhi Leonard was also solid for the Silver and Black scoring 16 and grabbing five boards.
With the loss, San Antonio fell to 15-6 on the season. Utah improved to 6-16 with the win.
The Spurs must have a short memory though as the team plays tomorrow night at home against the New York Knicks at 7:30 p.m. CT.
What do you think about San Antonio’s loss tonight? Let us know in the comments!