Monday, 15 October, 2018

Popovich won't coach Spurs for Game 3, team turns to Ettore Messina

Stephen Curry could be looking at an early May return from his MCL injury. More Stephen Curry could be looking at an early May return from his MCL injury. More
Eugene Bates | 22 April, 2018, 05:57

Messina, 58, has been part of Popovich's Spurs staff since 2014. "It's not an easy day to be here".

If Golden State can sweep on Sunday, they'll have at least five days - perhaps six - before their second-round series starts.

Parker, who said Erin and Gregg were a mother and father to him when he entered the league as a 19-year-old, lived up to those wishes.

The Spurs will nearly certainly not be advancing, so their season will be over within the next four games of this series.

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker - franchise cornerstones for 16 and 17 years, respectively - might retire this summer.

In New Orleans, Nikola Mirotic scored a career playoff-best 30 points and the Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-102 to take a stranglehold 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Both Livingston and Durant sprained their ankles in the fourth quarter of their Game 3 win over the Spurs and although they didn't look particularly serious, they were both pulled from the game for precautionary reasons.

For the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge led the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Durant and Klay Thompson have picked up the scoring slack with Curry sidelined. Averaging 25.7 points, Thompson is shooting a scorching 63.3 percent and is 65.0 percent from the three-point line.

Already on the edge of their seats for the first home game of the playoffs, the fans erupted when Rudy Gay threw down a one-handed dunk over Golden State's JaVale McGee.

Durant told reporters he is "fine" after rolling his ankle late in Game 3. "He's very successful, a great technician, a great game coach". In fact, Kerr grew so close with Erin Popovich that he nearly got his longtime friend in trouble.

"We mourn the loss of Erin", Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a team statement.

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