SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Becky Hammon would have most well-liked a victory over historical past after turning into the primary girl to educate an NBA staff.
The assistant coach took over the San Antonio Spurs within the second quarter after coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in a 121-107 loss to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night time.
“I attempt not to think about the large image and large facet of it as a result of it may be overwhelming,” Hammon mentioned. “I actually have had no time to replicate. I’ve not had time to have a look at my telephone. So, I don’t know what’s happening exterior the AT&T Middle.”
Hammon and the Spurs already had loads to take care of in opposition to the defending league champion Lakers.
James celebrated his thirty sixth birthday with 26 factors, eight assists, and 5 rebounds within the Lakers’ third double-digit victory. The groups will full the two-game set Friday night time.
“(I used to be) making an attempt to get the blokes in the precise spots,” Hammon mentioned. “Making an attempt to get them motivated. Clearly, it’s a studying scenario for all of us, however I’d have beloved to have walked on the market with a win with the blokes.”
Popovich was ejected by official Tony Brown with 3:56 remaining within the second quarter. Popovich screamed at Brown and entered the courtroom following a non-call on DeMar DeRozan’s tried layup and subsequently tried rebound by Drew Eubanks.
As he exited the courtroom to applause from a number of of the staff’s relations in attendance, Popovich pointed a finger at Hammon and had a succinct message.
“You bought ’em,” Hammon mentioned. “See? He doesn’t deal with us any otherwise than he does you guys.”
Mentioned LeBron James: “Clearly she’s been paying her dues over the previous few years and Coach Pop has given her the chance. … It’s a lovely factor simply to listen to her barking out calls, barking out units. She’s very passionate in regards to the sport. Congrats to her and congrats for our league.”
Hammon took over the staff’s huddles throughout timeouts and walked the sideline following Popovich’s ejection. Hammon was the primary full-time feminine assistant coach in league historical past.
“Effectively deserved,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “I’ve talked to her earlier than and he or she actually is aware of her stuff and clearly she’s right here for a purpose. She’s geared up, clever (and the) guys have nice respect for her. She’s going to be an important coach sooner or later.”
A 3-time All-American at Colorado State, Hammon performed for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars within the WNBA in addition to abroad earlier than retiring to hitch Popovich’s workers in 2014.
“Even in timeouts with Pop as head coach, she is fast on her toes,” DeRozan mentioned. “She tells us about defensive assignments, offensive units we must always run. Seeing her within the forefront, it could have undoubtedly been cool to have gained for her.”
The Lakers contributed to Popovich’s frustration and the Spurs’ fortunes didn’t get a lot better after the veteran coach exited.
Dennis Schroder had 21 factors, Anthony Davis had 20 factors and eight rebounds for the Lakers. Wesley Matthews was 6 for six on 3-pointers in scoring 18 factors off the bench.
The Spurs opened with a 9-2 run, together with an uncontested drive by way of the lane by Keldon Johnson for a two-handed slam. The Lakers responded with an 11-0 run that promoted a timeout by Popovich.
The Lakers took their first double-digit lead at 35-25 on Kyle Kuzma’s 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining within the first quarter.
Dejounte Murray had a career-high 29 factors, seven assists, and 7 rebounds.
“On the finish of the day, it don’t imply nothing, we misplaced,” Murray mentioned.
DeRozan added 23 for the Spurs, who misplaced their second straight after opening the season with two consecutive wins.
Lakers: PG Alex Caruso missed the sport for “well being and security protocols” as mandated by the league. Lakers coach Frank Vogel didn’t elaborate on Caruso’s standing. … James was listed as questionable after spraining his left ankle sprain within the Lakers’ 115-107 loss to Portland on Monday. James performed 35 minutes in opposition to the Spurs after scoring 29 factors in 36 minutes in opposition to the Path Blazers.
Spurs: Popovich mentioned the Spurs will monitor Aldridge’s knee soreness on a day-to-day foundation. … Tim Duncan took over final season when Popovich was ejected in opposition to Portland on Nov. 16, 2019. The Corridor of Famer opted to not return as an assistant this season.
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