HomeBasketball TodayPopovich Roasts Branham for Costly Turnover against Kings

Popovich Roasts Branham for Costly Turnover against Kings

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The Spurs lost another hard-fought game to the Kings.

Up by three points, the San Antonio Spurs had the ball with 30 seconds to go against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. They ended up losing by five. A key turnover on a pass from Malaki Branham to Zach Collins with seven seconds left that led to a Kings go-ahead bucket proved the difference. It’s a moment Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t care to address afterward—at least not with any substance.

“Sometimes people turn it over,” the Hall-of-Famer declared.

The final seconds

Spurs' Gregg Popovich with smoke coming out of ears and looking angry.

When Monk hit a three-pointer with 23.1 seconds remaining, it erased a Spurs lead that was as big as five with 57 seconds left. Playing without Victor Wembanyama because of a right ankle sprain suffered the game before at the Houston Rockets, the Spurs brought the ball right back up court.

Following the eventual 131-129 loss, as a reporter attempted to ask him about Branham’s crucial turnover in context that San Antonio didn’t call timeout to draw up a set play, Popovich quipped, “You got a question?”

When the reporter mentioned the errant Branham pass, Popovich responded, “I have no idea what situation you’re talking about,” before ending the exchange. “No idea what you’re getting at,” he said.

Another hard-fought Spurs loss to Kings

Thursday’s loss marked two exact weeks to the day that the Spurs last played the Kings. Given the ending, the two games might as well have been played on the same day. That night the Silver-and-Black held a four-point lead in Sacramento with 2:12 left, only to lose 127-122.

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“They played a good first quarter and then in the second quarter we kind of gave in a little bit. But they came back and played real well,” Popovich said of his team in this latest loss to the Kings. “I’m real proud of them. [De’Aaron] Fox kind of took over at the end like he has before but we did a lot of good things. Really feel bad for them, but they competed and they executed. Did a fine job.”

What was already a tough battle for a Spurs team headed to the lottery became that much tougher without Wemby. Zach Collins, who started next to the generational talent through the first six weeks of the season, took his spot in the starting lineup.

“He was great. He did a lot of stuff offensively, he worked defensively,” Popovich said. “[Domantas] Sabonis is a tough nut. He did everything he could because this was a tough assignment for one guy to handle.”

The longest-tenured coach in the NBA also praised backup point guard Blake Wesley, who continues to play well. The sophomore first-round pick scored 11 points against Sacramento.

“Better and better. He was aggressive. He was confident offensively. He also busts his butt on defense. I thought he did a good job.”

San Antonio managed 39 assists while continuing a positive trend throughout the season.

“We’ve had a lot of nights where we’ve had good showings assist wise but we still make too many young mental errors that cost us when we’re in a close game. that sort of thing. They just keep on plugging,” Popovich admitted.

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The loss dropped the Spurs to 13-50 for the season.

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About the Author

Hector Ledesma has been covering the Spurs in San Antonio since 2005, but he has been following them for even longer than that. An award-winning journalist born and raised in San Antonio, Hector has worked across all types of television and radio platforms. His work extends online and through social media (@HectorLedesmaTV) where he continues that work with ClutchPoints.

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