Spurs hire league’s first full-time female assistant coach

admin   •   August 6, 2014   •   2544

Russia’s Becky Hammon smiles toward her bench during the women’s preliminary round Group B basketball match against Brazil at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games in this file photo taken July 30, 2012. CREDIT: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR/FILES

(Reuters) – The reigning National Basketball Association champion San Antonio Spurs named long-time WNBA star Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in league history on Tuesday.

Hammon, 37, is a six-time WNBA All-Star who has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars, from which she will soon retire.

“In some ways it is trailblazing, but there have been so many other women that are doing really, really great things and I am just kind of following in their path,” Hammon said.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement: “I’m confident that her basketball IQ, work ethic, and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit for the Spurs.”

There have been women head coaches in the NBA Development and summer leagues, and Lisa Boyer was a part-time member of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching staff during the 2001-02 NBA season, according to the Spurs.

Named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All-Time in July of 2011, Hammon ranks seventh in WNBA history in points (with 5,809), fourth in assists (1,687) and sixth in games (445), the Spurs said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Frank Pingue)

NBA roundup: Popovich ties for 3rd on wins list

UNTV News   •   January 9, 2019

FILE PHOTO – May 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich looks up during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan had 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Gregg Popovich continued his climb up the NBA’s career wins list as the visiting San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons 119-107 on Monday.

Popovich earned the 1,221st victory of his career, tying him with Jerry Sloan for third on the NBA’s all-time list among coaches. The 23rd-year Spurs coach trails only Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332).

San Antonio dominated the last three quarters after falling behind early. Just as they did against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, the Pistons got off to a good start, jumping out to a 21-9 lead with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting for the Spurs, who have won five straight and six of their last seven. Blake Griffin had 34 points and eight assists, and Andre Drummond had 19 points and 14 rebounds in defeat for the Pistons, who have lost five of six.

Rockets 125, Nuggets 113

James Harden produced another sparkling double-double but this time received plenty of help as Houston extended its home-court winning streak to 10 games with a victory over Western Conference-leading Denver.

Harden paired 32 points with 14 assists. The Rockets also received a career-high 31 points from center Clint Capela (plus nine rebounds) and 21 points apiece from P.J. Tucker and Gerald Green. The Rockets bounced back after having their six-game win streak end Saturday against the Trail Blazers.

Houston finished 22 of 47 from behind the arc to outflank the Nuggets, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Rockets for the second time this season. Nikola Jokic paced Denver with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Celtics 116, Nets 95

Marcus Smart drained 3-pointers on consecutive possessions in the first quarter to begin a game-changing run by host Boston, which went on to beat Brooklyn.

The Celtics have won three straight and four of five. The Nets, who were trying to reach .500 beyond the midway point of the season for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign, had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the fourth time in the last 16 games.

Kylie Irving, who returned after missing two games with a left eye injury, scored 17 points to lead a balanced Celtics attack. Seven other players scored in double figures for Boston. Rookie Rodions Kurucs scored 24 points and drained five 3-pointers for the Nets.

Bucks 114, Jazz 102

Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds to help Milwaukee register a win over visiting Utah.

Malcolm Brogdon added 21 points for the Bucks, who won for the 10th time in their past 12 games. Brook Lopez contributed 15 points and eight rebounds, Thon Maker also scored 15 and Khris Middleton had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points for the Jazz but missed all five shots while going scoreless in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert added 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Lakers 107, Mavericks 97

Los Angeles put together a dominant third quarter to rally from a 15-point deficit and win at Dallas.

Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 29 points, Lonzo Ball had 21 and Michael Beasley, with 13 points, was key contributor in a third quarter the Lakers won 32-13. Los Angeles earned just its second victory in seven games playing without injured star LeBron James.

Mavs rookie Luka Doncic finished with a team-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Pelicans 114, Grizzlies 95

Anthony Davis had 36 points and 13 rebounds as host New Orleans defeated Memphis. The Pelicans, who handed the Cavaliers their ninth consecutive loss on Saturday in Cleveland, gave the Grizzlies their sixth consecutive loss.

The Pelicans last won consecutive games during a three-game winning streak from Nov. 16-19. Memphis dropped to 3-13 since a 107-103 victory against the host Pelicans on Dec. 7.

Frank Jackson came off the bench to add 17 points for the Pelicans. Mike Conley led Memphis with 22 points and 10 assists, JaMychal Green came off the Grizzlies’ bench to score 16.

Kings 111, Magic 95

De’Aaron Fox led a balanced attack with 20 points as host Sacramento followed up a record-setting shooting performance with one of its best defensive efforts of the season in a victory over travel-weary Orlando.

The Kings limited the Magic to 36.8 percent shooting and the third-lowest scoring output for a Sacramento opponent this season en route to their second straight season-series sweep of Orlando.

Terrence Ross came off the bench to score 20 points for the Magic, who were playing their fifth straight on the road and second in two days, having lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

Trail Blazers 111, Knicks 101

Jusuf Nurkic scored 20 points to lead six Trail Blazers in double figures as Portland swept to a victory over visiting New York.

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard both added 17 points, and Lillard had nine assists for the Trail Blazers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games. Seth Curry scored 13 points, and Jake Layman and Evan Turner had 10 apiece for Portland.

Enes Kanter came off the bench for 18 points and 14 rebounds, Emmanuel Mudiay scored 17 points, and Noah Vonleh contributed 16 points and 14 boards for the Knicks, who have lost in 14 of their past 16 outings.

—Field Level Media

Spurs coach Popovich rips Pachulia for injuring Leonard

UNTV News   •   May 16, 2017

FILE PHOTO – May 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich looks up during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in game four of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – San Antonio star forward Kawhi Leonard will miss Tuesday night’s Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at the Kawhi Leonard, leaving Spurs coach Gregg Popovich irate over what he felt was an avoidable injury.

Popovich lashed out at Warriors center Zaza Pachulia for his defense on Leonard, telling reporters Monday that the play was “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike” and citing a past pattern of such play by Pachulia.

Leonard aggravated his left ankle injury on Sunday in Game One of the best-of-seven series when he landed on Pachulia’s foot after taking a jump shot early in the third quarter.

San Antonio held a 23-point lead at the time of the injury but couldn’t hold of a furious comeback without its best player and dropped a 113-111 decision.

“Lead with your foot close-out is not appropriate. It’s dangerous, it’s unsportsmanlike, it’s just not what anybody does to anybody else,” Popovich fumed. “And this particular individual has a history with that kind of action. … A totally unnatural close-out that the league has outlawed years ago and pays great attention to it.

“We’ve had a pretty damn good season. We’ve played fairly well in the playoffs … and we’re up 23 points in the third quarter against Golden State, and Kawhi goes down like that. And you want to know if our chances are less? And you want to know how we feel? That’s how we feel.”

Pachulia took exception with Popovich’s assertion that his defensive closeout on Leonard was “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike.”

“My approach to this game for 14 years that I’ve been in the league is to play hard and (give) 100 percent of whatever I have,” Pachulia said on Monday. “So, I don’t agree with the calls that I’m a dirty player. I’m not a dirty player. I love this game and I’m playing hard. That’s what I was taught since Day One.”

Leonard injured the same ankle in Game Five of the Western semifinals on Tuesday and sat out Game Six against the Houston Rockets on Thursday. He had 26 points and eight rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.

The All-Star small forward scored a game-high 18 points in the first half as the Spurs stunned the top-seeded Warriors with a 62-42 start.

But Leonard tweaked the ankle when he stepped back into the Spurs’ bench while attempting a three-pointer early in the third period. Then after a brief stint on the bench, he returned and landed on Pachulia’s foot on a jumper, which sent Leonard limping to the bench for good.

The Spurs were leading 78-55 when Leonard left the game with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter. Golden State immediately responded with an 18-0 run to get back into the game.

Popovich said if Leonard remained in the game and San Antonio lost, he would go to practice the next day and “move on. But this is crap.

“And because he’s has got this history, it can’t be, ‘Oh this was inadvertent, he didn’t have intent,’ ” Popovich said of Pachulia. “Who gives a damn what his intent was? Have you ever heard of manslaughter? You still go to jail I think when you’re texting and you end up killing somebody but may have not intended to do that. All I care is what I saw, all I care about is what happened. And the history there exasperates the whole situation and makes me very, very angry.”

Warriors in big comeback beat Spurs 113-111 in Game One

UNTV News   •   May 15, 2017

May 14, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) high fives guard Stephen Curry (30) after a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the fourth quarter in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – Draymond Green turned a layup into a three-point play with 1:15 to go to break a tie and lift the Golden State Warriors to a 113-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the NBA Western Conference finals on Sunday.

The Spurs lost star forward Kawhi Leonard to a recurrence of his left ankle injury in the third quarter after having built a 25-point lead in the first half.

Game Two in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday, also on the Warriors’ home court.

Rallying from a 20-point halftime deficit, the third-biggest comeback in NBA history, the Warriors got a game-high 40 points from Stephen Curry and 34 from Kevin Durant.

Curry hit a 13-foot floater with nine seconds remaining to give Golden State a 113-110 lead and begin a hectic finish.

LeMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs’ leading scorer with 28 points, had a chance to tie the score but misfired on a three-pointer from the left corner.

Patty Mills retrieved the ball and was fouled with five-tenths of a second left. He made the first free throw to get the Spurs within two, then intentionally missed the second, with the Warriors deflecting the ball out of bounds as time expired.

Curry scored 21 of his points on 7-of-16 shooting on three-pointers. The Warriors were 11 of 30 from beyond the arc and outscored the Spurs 33-21 on three-pointers.

Leonard finished with 26 points and Manu Ginobili 17 for the Spurs.

The game turned on Leonard’s injury. He had poured in 18 points and Aldridge 17 in a stunning first-half offensive display by the Spurs, who led by 25 at one point en route to a 62-42 halftime advantage.

Leonard, who missed the end of Game Five of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday and all of Game Six against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, tweaked the ankle when he stepped back into the Spurs’ bench while attempting a three-pointer early in the third quarter.

Then after a brief stint on the bench, he returned and landed on Warriors center Zaza Pachulia’s foot on a jumper, which sent Leonard limping to the bench for good.

The Spurs were leading 78-55 when Leonard departed with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors immediately responded with an 18-0 run to get back into the game.

(Editing by Andrew Both)

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