IFWT Popovich ejected

In a battle for Western Conference supremacy, the Portland Trail Blazers played the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.  Things got heated in the third quarter as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich became irate and had to be restrained by his assistants as he went off on the referees.

Shay Marie

Popovich was assessed the first technical foul after exchanging words with referee Mark Ayotte. He then received his second technical foul from referee Bill Kennedy when he continued to chase Ayotte toward the scorer’s table.

“I always have my reasons,” Popovich said of the ejection, opting not to elaborate.

Apparently Popovich knew what he was doing as his ejection sparked a run from his team.  At the time of the ejection, the Blazers were leading 65-55. San Antonio then went on a 23-12 run to close out the third quarter.

“Pop knew what he was doing,” Wesley Matthews said after the intense game. “He knew exactly what he was doing.”

“You don’t feel it right away but it worked,” Manu Ginobili said of Popovich being ejected. “People got excited and we started making shots. We made a great run.”

“We knew once we built a lead, we knew they weren’t going to just go away,” Damian Lillard said. “Especially once Pop got tossed. It looked like he wanted to get tossed because he just kept going off. I knew that would spark something in their team. They got some calls, they made some shots. It was the type of game we expected it to be. It was really intense. The team that backs down, you automatically lose. Neither team did that.”

The Blazers however were able to stay strong, rallying in the fourth quarter to get the 109-100 win.  Portland improved to 30-9 with the win. San Antonio dropped to 31-9 with the loss.

Sports Illustrated