Popovich breaks Nelson’s NBA victory record with No. 1,336

March 12, 2022 GMT
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Gregg Popovich is the winningest coach in NBA regular-season history, getting his 1,336th victory when the San Antonio Spurs rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 104-102 on Friday night.

Popovich broke a tie with Don Nelson, the friend and mentor he served as an assistant under while with Golden State for two seasons beginning in 1992.

The milestone came in the 73-year-old Popovich’s 2,030th game and 26th season with the Spurs, the only franchise he has served as head coach for.

Unsurprisingly, the evening was met with zero fanfare.

Popovich has won five NBA championships, 13 division titles and was recently named one of the 15 greatest coaches in league history. He has coached NBA 75th Anniversary Team members David Robinson and Tim Duncan, future Hall of Fame members Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker as well as journeymen who found careers in San Antonio such as Danny Green and current NBA coaches Steve Kerr, Monty Williams, Ime Udoka and Doc Rivers.

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Dejounte Murray, who has emerged as the team’s newest star, had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the Spurs. Murray made two free throws with 4.8 seconds and 1 of 2 with a second remaining to seal the victory.

Donovan Mitchell had 24 points for Utah.

LAKERS 122, WIZARDS 109

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 50 points for the 15th time in his career and helped rally Los Angeles past Washington.

The 37-year old superstar became the oldest player to have multiple 50-point games in a season. Bernard King was the previous oldest to do it at 34 in 1990-91 with Washington.

It was the second straight home game during which James has scored at least 50 and the third time he has done it with the Lakers. He had a season-high 56 in a win over Golden State last Saturday. James was 18 of 25 from the field and made six 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He also had six rebounds and moved past Dikembe Mutombo into 12th place on the NBA’s career defensive rebounds list with 8,553.

James rallied the Lakers back with 12 straight points during a 22-8 run when they took an 82-75 lead with 2:25 remaining. He then had 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers steadily pulled away. Los Angeles, which had dropped six of their last seven coming into the game, led by as many as 18 midway through the fourth.

Malik Monk scored 21 points and Talen Horton-Tucker added 15 for the Lakers.

Kyle Kuzma, who played for the Lakers for four seasons, led Washington with 23 points and rookie Corey Kispert scored a career-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers.

RAPTORS 117, SUNS 112

PHOENIX (AP) — Gary Trent Jr. scored 42 points and Toronto held off NBA-leading Phoenix.

Trent was 8 from 11 from 3-point range and 13 of 21 from the floor. He fell just short of his career high of 44 points set last season. He also had eight rebounds.

Pascal Siakam added 25 points and 10 assists for the Raptors.

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Cameron Payne had 24 points for the Suns, and Devin Booker had 22. Booker missed two 3-point attempts in the final minute and was held to three points in the fourth quarter.

GRIZZLIES 118, KNICKS 114

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant keyed a fourth-quarter rally by scoring 15 of his 37 points in the period to lead Memphis past New York.

Ziaire Williams and Jaren Jackson Jr. each finished with 13 points, with Jackson adding five blocks as part of a season-high 16 for Memphis.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 36 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, and RJ Barrett had 23 points.

CELTICS 114, PISTONS 103

BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum had 31 points and eight rebounds, Jaylen Brown added 22 points and eight rebounds and Boston beat Detroit for its fifth victory in a row.

Marcus Smart added 20 points, and Robert Williams III had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. They have won 18 of 21 since a Jan. 21 loss dropped them a game below .500.

Cade Cunningham had 27 points and eight rebounds for the Central Division-trailing Pistons, who had won three in a row before falling Wednesday night to Chicago. Marvin Bagley III had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Jerami Grant also scored 20 points.

HEAT 117, CAVALIERS 105

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 24 points and a pair of big third-quarter runs helped Miami beat Cleveland.

Tyler Herro scored 22 points, and Max Strus finished with 17 points for the Heat, who improved to 16-7 in games following a loss. The Heat had a 13-0 run early in the third to open up an eight-point lead, then had 11-0 run later in the quarter to build what was an 84-67 lead.

Adebayo was 11 for 16 from the field, 8 for 8 from the line.

Darius Garland had 24 points and 10 assists for Cleveland.

MAVERICKS 113, ROCKETS 100

HOUSTON (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 30 points, Dwight Powell had 26 and the Dallas Mavericks built a big lead and coasted past Houston.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 16 points and seven assists to help the Mavericks win for the sixth time in seven games and move to a season-high-tying 15 games above .500 at 41-26.

Doncic had 14 rebounds and Powell had 13 as the Mavericks outrebounded Houston 47-39.

Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher each had 17 points for Houston.

HAWKS 112, CLIPPERS 106

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 27 points to lead six Atlanta scorers in double figures and the Hawks held off Los Angeles.

With the game tied at 82 late in the third quarter, Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. was ejected after drawing two technical fouls for objecting when called for traveling. Young’s free throw gave Atlanta the lead. Danilo Gallinari followed with a 3-pointer and the Clippers led the rest of the way.

Ivica Zubac had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Reggie Jackson also scored 24 points.

HORNETS 142, PELICANS 120

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Miles Bridges had 27 points and nine assists, Terry Rozier highlighted his 27-point performance with seven 3-pointers and Charlotte routed undermanned New Orleans.

LaMelo Ball had 17 points, nine assists and three steals for Charlotte, which hit 22 3s (on 47 attempts) and shot 59.8% overall (52 of 87) to snap a two-game skid while sending New Orleans to its fourth straight loss.

Trey Murphy III, the Pelicans’ first-round pick last summer, hit seven 3s and set his new game-high in points with 32 to go with a career-high nine rebounds.

MAGIC 118, TIMBERWOLVES 110

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Mo Bamba scored 27 points and Orlando overcame an 18-point deficit to end Minnesota’s winning streak at six games.

Wendell Carter Jr. added 20 points, and Mo Wagner had 18 points in 13 minutes. Anthony Edwards led the Minnesota with 25 points. Karl Anthony Towns had 21 points and 13 rebounds.

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