Popovich pops in to ether Spurs after Gay’s buzzer shot to drop Suns

Jan 30, 2019, 7:38 AM

The Spurs beat the Suns on a Rudy Gay buzzer-beater, but that wasn’t good enough for San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich.

He was far from amused following the 126-124 victory.

So after the win that sent the Suns their third buzzer-beating defeat in two weeks, Popovich went to his go-to move — quickly popping in for the league-mandated postgame press conference only to hit the eject button after ethering his own team.

“We were really fortunate to win the game,” Popovich said. “I thought that they outplayed us, outcoached us, out-physicaled us, out-executed us. We had no respect for them or for the game. We didn’t play with each other.

“It was a pathetic performance, and Phoenix got robbed,” the Spurs coach added before flawlessly ducking back into the San Antonio locker room.

Indeed, the Suns played well down Deandre Ayton, T.J. Warren and De’Anthony Melton, all starters who have suffered ankle injuries in the past few weeks. They shot 60 percent from the field, hit 13 of 29 three-pointers and fought their way back late to tie the game up for a defensive stand that didn’t go their way.

“It’s a win,” Gay said. “I’m not happy about how it happened, but we got a win. That’s part of being a good team — you’ve got to find ways to get wins.”

For Phoenix, Devin Booker scored 38 to go with seven assists on 14-of-19 shooting, and Jamal Crawford added 22 points and seven more dimes off the bench.

“Dropping nine straight and losing three or four to game-winners, you realize that you have to be locked in the whole game,” Booker told reporters. “It’s not just the final shot.”

Added Kelly Oubre Jr., the man defending Gay on the final shot: “Salute to Rudy for hitting that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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