San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich became the ninth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games on Monday night when the Spurs defeated the Pacers on the road, 95-93.
Although Pop is officially in the record books with the win, the victory did not come pretty. After losing their first game of their rodeo road trip the night before, San Antonio came ever so close to starting the nine game road trip 0-2.
Feb 9, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Antonio Spurs centerTim Duncan
(21) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forwardDavid West
(21) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. San Antonio defeats Indiana 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs, who again had trouble putting the ball in the basket for a second straight game, found themselves trailing by 14 points entering the fourth quarter.
San Antonio, however, was determined to give their coach his 1,00th victory after failing the night before against a hot Toronto team. The Spurs showed resiliency in the final quarter, outscoring the Pacers 30-14 over the last 12 minutes to pick up the win.
Even with San Antonio’s impressive run, Indiana still had a chance to steal the game from the Spurs. Unfortunately for the Pacers, George Hill back-ironed a three as time expired.
Shooting was once again a major issue for San Antonio on the night as the Spurs only connected on 41.6% of their field goals. Their efficiency from behind the arc was also poor, only 6-of-25 on long-range attempts.
Although San Antonio did struggle to shoot the ball, the difference in this game compared to their game against Toronto the night before was that the Spurs were able to hold Indiana to a worse shooting percentage than their own, forcing the Pacers to only make 40.6% of their field goal attempts.
The Spurs also did a great job of holding onto the ball in this one, committing only seven turnovers compared to the Pacers 12.
While San Antonio did not get as many assists as they are accustomed to, only 18 for the night, their ability to shoot the ball better and get to the line more frequently, 17 free throws for the Spurs compared to 13 for the Pacers, allowed San Antonio to pull this one out.
Tony Parker led the way for victorious Spurs, quieting naysayers with a classic 19 point, six assist performance. Tim Duncan also played well for San Antonio, 15 points and eight rebounds.
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For the Pacers, it was the effort of David West that allowed Indiana to create such a wide gap at the end of three. The former Xavier star finished with only 10 points but was able to amass 18 rebounds.
With the win, the Spurs improved to 1-1 on their nine game rodeo road trip, 33-19 on the season. The Pacers fell to 20-33 with the loss.
Next up for San Antonio is a Wednesday night match-up against the Detroit Pistons as this road trip continues. That game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CT start.
What do you think of Pop’s 1,000th win? Let us know in the comments!