The Warriors beat the Spurs 112-92 Thursday to earn their second straight win and fifth in their last six games. San Antonio on the other hand, has now lost four games in a row.
That in and of itself would have been enough to frustrate San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, but this loss once again postponed history for the Spurs legend.
Popovich has a chance to tie one of the most legendary coaches in NBA history with just one more win, but it didn’t work out Thursday. That leads our three takeaways from Thursday’s game.
1. Popovich ejected, misses benchmark win
Popovich is one win short of Phil Jackson for the sixth-most wins in NBA history. The Spurs’ legend has 1,554 career wins which stands alone as the seventh most of all time.
The Spurs started the game looking like they would get Popovich that win, but thanks to a good second quarter and an even better third, the Warriors were able to come away with a win.
San Antonio has now had four chances to give their coach the win that ties him with Jackson and they have lost all four times. No wonder a frustrated Popovich got ejected in the fourth quarter and calling the official “terrible f—ing referee.”
2. Charles Barkley might be right
One team had a reason to win Thursday and it was the Spurs. The Warriors on the other hand have a great chance to not only win the Western Conference this season, but to be a top team in the league and eventually win another NBA title.
However, to begin the season they have looked far from dominant. They got down by as much as 19 points in the first half Thursday before cutting the lead to five at halftime. They eventually turned on the after-burners as they pulled away for a 20-point win, but they clearly weren’t going all out in the early going.
NBA analyst Charles Barkley was less than thrilled with the performance.
“It’s frustrating watching this game, though because the Warriors are just going through the motions,” Barkley said on TNT’s halftime show. “It’s like, they get down 18, OK, we’re gonna win at some point, and I hate that, I mean, I want them to be challenged.”
“It’s frustrating watching this game, though because the Warriors are just going through the motions.” – Chuck pic.twitter.com/VzWCgCr9Mx
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 3, 2017
3. Kevin Durant: ‘D’ is for defender
Before signing with the Warriors in 2016, the 29-year-old Durant never blocked more than 1.2 shots per game. Since signing with Golden State, Durant has said on multiple occasions that he’s learning how to play good team defense and committing himself to being a better defender in general.