Hammon first woman to coach NBA team; Lakers beat Spurs

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Becky Hammon would have preferred a victory over history after becoming the first woman to coach an NBA team.

The assistant coach took over the San Antonio Spurs in the second quarter after coach Gregg Popovich was put out in a 121-107 defeat against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

“I try not to think about the big picture and the big aspect of it, because it can be overwhelming,” Hammon said. “I really did not have time to reflect. I have not yet had time to look at my phone. So I do not know what is going on outside the AT&T center. ”

Hammon and the Spurs have already had a lot against defending league champions Lakers.

James celebrated his 36th birthday with 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the Lakers’ third two-digit victory. The teams will complete the series for two games on Friday night.

“(I) tried to get the guys in the right places,” Hammon said. ‘To try to get them motivated. Obviously this is a learning situation for all of us, but I would love to walk there with a win with the guys. ”

Popovich was ousted by official Tony Brown with 3:56 left in the second quarter. Popovich yelled at Brown and entered court after a non-appeal on DeMar DeRozan’s attempted imposition and a subsequent attempt to rebound by Drew Eubanks.

When he left the court to the applause of several of the team’s family members, Popovich pointed a finger at Hammon and had a concise message.

“You have them,” Hammon said. ‘Do you see? He does not treat us differently from you. ‘

LeBron James says: ‘It’s clear she’s paid her fees over the last few years, and Coach Pop has given her the opportunity. … It’s a beautiful thing to just hear her bark, sets bark. She is very passionate about the game. Congratulations to her and congratulations on our league. ”

Hammon took over the team’s rush during countdown and walked along the sideline after Popovich’s expulsion. Hammon was the first full-time female assistant coach in league history.

“Well deserved,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ‘I’ve talked to her before and she really knows her well and she’s obviously here for a reason. She is equipped, intelligent (and the) guys have great respect for her. She’s going to be a good coach one day. ”

Hammon was a three-time All-American in the state of Colorado and played for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars in the WNBA as well as overseas before joining Popovich’s staff in 2014.

“Even during time-outs with Pop as head coach, she’s quickly on her feet,” DeRozan said. “She tells us about defense missions, offensive sets we have to execute. Seeing her in the foreground would have definitely been cool to win for her. ”

The Lakers contributed to Popovich’s frustration and the fate of the Spurs did not get much better after the veteran coach.

Dennis Schroder had 21 points, Anthony Davis had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers. Wesley Matthews was 6 for 6 on three points and scored 18 points off the bench.

The Spurs started with a 9-2 run, including an undisputed ride through the track by Keldon Johnson for a two-stroke. The Lakers responded with an 11-0 run that promoted a timeout by Popovich.

The Lakers took their first double-digit lead at 35-25 on Kyle Kuzma’s three-point leader with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

Dejounte Murray had a career-high 29 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.

“At the end of the day, it means nothing, we lost,” Murray said.

DeRozan added 23 for the Spurs, who lost their second consecutive game after starting the season with two consecutive wins.


Lakers: PG Alex Caruso missed the match for “health and safety protocols” as instructed by the league. Lakers coach Frank Vogel did not elaborate on Caruso’s status. … James was indicated as doubtful after spraining his left ankle in the Lakers’ 115-107 defeat to Portland. James played 35 minutes against the Spurs after scoring 29 points in the 36 minutes against the Trail Blazers.

Spurs: Popovich said the Spurs will monitor Aldridge’s knee pain daily. … Tim Duncan took over last season when Popovich was sent off against Portland on 16 November 2019. The Hall of Famer has chosen not to return this season as an assistant.