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NBA Roundup: Spurs’ Gregg Popovich breaks winning record

NBA: Utah Jazz at the San Antonio Spurs
March 11, 2022; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is surrounded by players after becoming the top coach in NBA history after beating the Utah Jazz at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2022

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich isn’t one to draw attention, but his players made sure he basked in the spotlight for at least a few minutes after he was named the NBA’s all-time best coach on Friday night.

The Spurs players kept Popovich on the field to enjoy the applause of the home fans after his team rallied for a 104-102 win over the Utah Jazz. He looked uncomfortable at the attention, but finally managed a smile.

His grin was about more than just the record as Spurs caught up 15 points down in the fourth quarter to give Popovich the record. San Antonio was trailing 33-0 in games going into the closing stages. The win, Popovich’s 1,336th, pushed him past Don Nelson. Popovich is in his 26th NBA season, all with the Spurs.

Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 27 points, with Jakob Poeltl adding 15 points and 11 rebounds. Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points to lead the Jazz while Jordan Clarkson added 17 points.

Lakers 122, Wizards 109

LeBron James scored 33 of his 50 points after halftime and hosts Los Angeles won for the second time in eight games, pulling away from Washington.

James shot 18 of 25 from the field and 6 of 9 from 3-point range. He was the first Lakers player with multiple 50-point games in a season since Kobe Bryant in 2007-08. He also had six assists, giving him two close career 10,000s.

Malik Monk added 21 points for the Lakers. Former Laker Kyle Kuzma had 23 points and rookie Corey Kispert had a career-best 21 for the Wizards, who lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Birds of Prey 117, Suns 112

Gary Trent Jr. matched his season-best with 42 points, hit eight 3-pointers and withstood a comeback from Phoenix on the Toronto visit to take the win.

Pascal Siakam added 25 points and 10 assists for the Raptors, who won their second straight game. Toronto’s Scottie Barnes had 15 points.

Cameron Payne scored 24 points for the Suns, who fell to 5-4 since losing Chris Paul to a broken thumb. Devin Booker added 22 points and seven assists.

Celtics 114, Pistons 103

Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and hosts Boston continued their five-game winning streak by beating Detroit.

Tatum had at least 30 points in his fifth straight game and added eight rebounds and six assists. Jaylen Brown had 22 points with eight rebounds and four assists, and Marcus Smart added 20 points for Boston.

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 27 points. Jerami Grant and Marvin Bagley III each scored 20 goals for Detroit, which has lost back-to-back games after a 6-2 stretch.

Grizzlies 118, Knicks 114

Ja Morant scored 15 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as Memphis overcame a 15-point deficit to earn a win over New York.

The Grizzlies faced a 96-81 deficit in the third quarter with 1:08 to go but beat New York 37-18 the rest of the way. Morant shot 14 of 33 for his 24th 30-point game of the season. He helped Memphis win for the fifth time in seven games.

Julius Randle had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who missed a chance for a fourth straight win of the season. Randle shot 11 of 27, including 1 of 5 in the fourth quarter.

Misfits 113, Rockets 100

Dwight Powell joined Luka Doncic with double-doubles as Dallas rebounded from a 30-pointer against the Knicks to beat host Houston.

Powell had a season-high 26 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and only his third in the past three years. Doncic led Dallas to their 35th double-double of the year with 30 points and 14 rebounds.

Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher shared highest team honors with 17 points for the Rockets, who clinched a 139-130 win in overtime at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

Magic 118, Timberwolves 110

Mo Bamba had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Moritz Wagner and Markelle Fultz made key performances off the bench, and host Orlando overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat red-hot Minnesota.

For the Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Wagner had 18 points and six rebounds in 13 minutes, Fultz contributed 14 points and seven assists, and Cole Anthony had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Minnesota, entering the game as the league-best averaging 114.7 points per game, went 15-45 from 3-point range and had five players who scored in double digits. Anthony Edwards scored 25 points and Karl-Anthony Towns overcame nasty problems to score 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Falcon 112, clipper 106

Trae Young had 27 points and 11 assists as host Atlanta withstood a late attack from Los Angeles for a two-game losing streak.

Kevin Huerter scored 16 points and Clint Capela had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, who saw their 106-96 lead shrink to 108-106 with 36.2 seconds left before they held.

Ivica Zubac led the Clippers with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson added 24 points.

Heat 117, Cavaliers 105

Jimmy Butler, returning from a game absence caused by a sinus problem, scored 11 points in the crucial third quarter to lead hosts Miami ahead of Cleveland.

Butler finished the tournament with 24 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. He was key as Miami extended a one-point lead to 13 at halftime after three quarters. Miami also received 30 points and 17 rebounds – both game highs – from Bam Adebayo and won for the 13th time in 16 games.

Cleveland, who had broken their winning streak in two games, were led by Darius Garland, who had 24 points and 10 assists. Rookie Evan Mobley added 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Hornets 142, Pelicans 120

Miles Bridges scored 26 points and led seven Charlotte scorers in double digits as the Gasthornets lost New Orleans for a fourth straight game.

Terry Rozier added 25 points for the Hornets, who shot 59.8 percent from the floor, including 46.8 percent on 3-point attempts. Charlotte had won just three of their last 10 games but took command by beating New Orleans 42-27 in the third quarter.

New Orleans rookie Trey Murphy III had season bests of 32 points (making seven 3-pointers) and nine rebounds and Devonte’ Graham had 19 points. The Pelicans were without top scorer Brandon Ingram (hamstring strain) and second-top scorer CJ McCollum (health and safety protocol).

–Field level media

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