NBA regular season

Spurs survive reeling Lakers as Gregg Popovich equals NBA all-time wins mark

Spurs survive reeling Lakers as Gregg Popovich equals NBA all-time wins mark

LEGENDARY. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is one win away from being the winningest coach in NBA history

Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Legendary San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ties Don Nelson for the most regular season wins by a coach in NBA history with 1,335 at the expense of the reeling Los Angeles Lakers

Dejounte Murray collected 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 8assists as the San Antonio Spurs held off the short-handed, visiting Los Angeles Lakers, 117-110, on Monday, March 7 (Tuesday, March 8, Manila time) to help their chances for a postseason berth.

With the result, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tied Don Nelson for the most regular season wins by a coach in league history with 1,335.

San Antonio was up by 3 points heading to the fourth quarter, and never allowed the Lakers to get the lead, surviving a ragged final four minutes and a woeful 16-of-30 showing from the free-throw line to snap a four-game losing streak.

The Lakers, who have lost five of their past six games, were without LeBron James, who was held out with a sore left knee after scoring 56 points in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson scored 18 points each for San Antonio, with Keldon Johnson adding 13, and Doug McDermott hitting for 11 as all five Spurs starters finished in double figures. San Antonio was missing starter Devin Vassell, and key reserve Lonnie Walker IV, both because of non-COVID illnesses.

Talen Horton-Tucker led Los Angeles with 18 points while Malik Monk, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony added 17 each, and Austin Reeves scored 13 points. Westbrook also grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Spurs led for all but 14 seconds of the first quarter and were up 31-22 after Josh Primo’s three-pointer with 4.7 seconds left in the period. San Antonio extended its advantage to as many as 14 points before settling for a 62-56 lead at the break. Murray finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting over the first two quarters.

All 10 players who saw the court for the Spurs in the first half scored at least 3 points as San Antonio outshot the Lakers 60% to 50%, and outrebounded Los Angeles, 22-20, in the half.

Monk paced the Lakers with 11 points before the break.

Los Angeles rallied to take a 76-75 lead on a three-point play by Westbrook with 7:14 to play in the third period. The Spurs quickly went back in front and extended their advantage back to as many as eight points before taking a 95-92 lead to the final quarter. –

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