With the weight of one of the longest losing streaks in recent years on the their back, the San Antonio Spurs had to show and prove Saturday night. The shootout against the Sacramento Kings ended in a 95-93 victory for the Spurs.
Not only did the win snap the Spurs’ three-game losing skid, it was the 939th career regular season victory for Gregg Popovich. The great Boston Celtics‘ coach of the past, Red Auerbach, was surpassed by Pop for 10th place on the all-time regular season victories list for NBA coaches.
Once again, the Spurs relied heavily on the success of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Both came up extremely big, statically speaking. Duncan finished with his third-straight double-double of 23 points and 17 rebounds. His dominance was increased by the fact that Kings’ low post presence, DeMarcus Cousins, was out with an ankle injury. Parker had a added a double-double of his own as he tallied 18 points with 10 assists.
Duncan made a living at the free throw line, shooting 7-of-12 on the night. But the two most crucial free throw misses for Duncan came in the final minute of the game as the Spurs tried to stretch the 94-93 lead. With a chance to win the game, Kings’ Rudy Gay missed a baseline jumper, which sealed their fate and a Spurs victory.
Newly acquired Shannon Brown made his first appearance for the Spurs in the highly competitive game. Brown finished with two points in 14 minutes played. Popovich will be sure to make Brown more of a factor in his offense and use his athleticism to the advantage of a hobbling San Antonio squad.
The game was probably closer than it should have been, but as it remains, the Spurs will take what they can get for now.