Popovich gets 900th win; Spurs top Jazz in OT
San Antonio, TX – It wasn't easy, but San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich earned his 900th career win.
Tony Parker, who had missed the previous eight games because of a sprained left ankle, scored a team-high 22 points and Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 104-97 overtime victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday.
Tim Duncan added 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Danny Green scored 15 points for the Spurs, winners of four straight.
"I thought it was a great game. Utah is a team that's trying to stay in the playoffs and they are really highly motivated," Popovich said. "I thought we just grinded it out. We found some combinations that worked well. I thought a lot of people contributed to that. It was one of our better wins this year for a lot of reasons."
Popovich became the 12th coach in NBA history with 900 career wins.
Mo Williams scored 23 points and dished out eight assists, and Al Jefferson finished with 18 points and 13 boards for the Jazz, losers of three in a row and eight of 10.
"We were playing a little out of desperation. We brought a lot of energy tonight. We just didn't make the plays down the end of the stretch that we should have," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "It is still a loss. I am proud of the way we fought but a loss is a loss. We have to find ways to get wins."
The Spurs trailed 73-68 following a Williams jumper at the 8:04 mark of the fourth quarter, but Duncan knocked down a hook shot and Matt Bonner canned a trey with seven minutes to go to tie the game.
The Jazz used a 6-1 run to go up 79-74 with 5:21 left, but the Spurs scored five unanswered point to tie it up again.
The teams traded makes from there until Leonard buried a trey from the left corner with 1:06 left to make it a three-point advantage.
A Williams jumper made it a one-point game with 52.9 seconds left but Parker knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Spurs a 90-87 lead with 10.1 seconds to go.
Marvin Williams, though, drained a triple from the left corner as time expired to force overtime.
Leonard buried a triple from the top of the key just 15 seconds into the bonus period, and the Spurs never trailed from there.
A Mo Williams trey tied the game 95-95, but the Spurs opened a 7-2 burst to go up 102-96 with just under 1 1/2 minutes to go. The Jazz couldn't get closer than five the rest of the way.
Utah led 21-18 after the first quarter and took a 41-38 lead into the break. The Spurs outscored the Jazz 25-24 to go into the final frame trailing 65-62.
Duncan passed Shaquille O'Neal (13,099) for 13th place on the NBA all-time rebound list with 13,013 boards ... The Spurs scored 22 points off 17 Jazz turnovers ... Alec Burks scored 14 points off the bench and Paul Millsap scored 11 off the bench for Utah.