Nuggets rout Spurs as 'Pop' tossed
LOS ANGELES, USA – Nikola Jokic was just one assist shy of a triple-double as he led the Denver Nuggets to a 113-85 NBA blowout of the San Antonio Spurs – who saw coach Gregg Popovich tossed just 63 seconds into the contest on Wednesday, April 3 (Thursday, April 4, Manila time)
"Pop" called a timeout with the Spurs trailing 5-0 and promptly started jawing with a game official who called him for a technical foul.
Popovich didn't let up, and was hit with a quick second technical and ejected at 1:03 of the 1st quarter, in what the Elias Sports Bureau said was the quickest ejection of a coach since Flip Saunders of the Wizards was tossed 1:46 into a game at Boston in 2012.
Popovich had some fun with it when he crashed Nuggets head coach Mike Malone's post-game press conference, feigning surprise at Malone's report that "Somebody got thrown out in 63 seconds."
Otherwise there wasn't much for the Spurs to smile about as the Nuggets (52-26), 2nd in the West behind the Golden State Warriors (53-34), dominated.
Jokic scored 20 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and handed out 9 assists.
Jamal Murray finished with 14 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds and Monte Morris and Malik Beasley scored 19 points apiece as the Nuggets snapped a two-game skid.
"My favorite stat tonight is 41 assists," Malone said. "You make 47 shots with 41 assists, that's what we stressed today.
"Everyone was worried about our shooting struggles, but as long as we're generating good shots and playing for each other, that's all we care about."