Spurs Popovich guides Nelson to record NBA career win

Spurs Popovich guides Nelson to record NBA career win

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Greg Popovich tied Don Nelson's NBA record with his 1,335th career win as coach in the San Antonio Spurs' 117-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Popovich, in his 26th season, will try to pass Nelson when San Antonio hosts the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Spurs had four straight losses at the start to level the record with Popovich, and were in danger of extending that skid with a late collapse against the struggling Lakers, who were without star LeBron James due to a left knee pain. .

DeJonte Murray had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Jacob Poelt and Josh Richardson had 18 points each. Richardson was making his debut with San Antonio.

Talen Horton-Taylor had 18 points to lead Los Angeles and Russell Westbrook, Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony added 17 points each.

Popovich has five NBA titles and a lock for prestige in the NBA Hall of Fame after a career in which he coached Spurs greats including David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Robinson sat near the court on Monday, and Popovich jokingly asked him to check on the game during a time.

These are not identical spurs from Robinson's prime. San Antonio is 25-40, already assured of a third straight losing season after 22 consecutive finishes over .500. Monday's game is almost over.

The Lakers pulled on Horton-Taylor's jumper within 108-105 with 5:40, and the Spurs had 37.4 seconds remaining before Poelt's free throw for nearly four minutes. However, Los Angeles has never been close to three.

The Lakers were without James and Anthony Davis. James was scratched late on Monday after scoring a season-high 56 points on Saturday in a win over the Golden State Warriors.

Los Angeles had lost four straight and seven of eight before James' highest point with the Lakers, which matched his career-high third.

The Lakers remained in the game without the ball cutting the rim for open layups, drives to basket and poor free-throw shooting from the Spurs. San Antonio were at 6 for 14 in the third quarter at 16 for 30 on free throws.


Lakers: James has missed 17 matches this season due to various injuries including stomach and ankle ailments. Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel expects James to play in Houston on Wednesday. ... Westbrook collected his third foul in the first half in 11:38. He made five fouls in 35 minutes.

Spurs: Devin Wassell, Lonnie Walker IV and Keita Bates-Diep all missed the game with an undisclosed illness. Popovich said it was not COVID-19 related. ... Poeltl picked up two fouls in the first 1 1/2 minutes and spent the remainder of the first quarter on the bench.

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