All of the catchphrases
He said things like "lacked a lot of discipline," "didn't execute," "not very wise" and "lack of focus," words that described the
It was Popovich's way of expressing his disapproval to the Spurs, his way of conveying a message to his team that's tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The Spurs lost the home-court advantage they took away from the Clippers by splitting the first two games in Los Angeles. Now the Spurs return to Staples Center for Game 5 on Tuesday night knowing the Clippers are back focused on the task ahead.
"There were a lot of things going on out there," Popovich said. "I think in general, we lacked a lot of discipline. We didn't execute sharply enough in what we wanted to do strategy-wise or just in general basketball play.
"I thought [we] were just not very wise in a lot of the situations. The period where we just gave six free throws in a row for fouls that were just absolutely meaningless for no reason. We had some periods in the game like that, which were disappointing. I think the lack of focus in that regard really hurt us."
As it turned out, the game turned for good against the Spurs on a strategic play that backfired against Popovich — the Hack-a-Jordan.
The Spurs had just taken a one-point lead late in the third period on a
Jordan missed both free throws, but the Clippers were in the bonus.
Inexplicably, the Spurs fouled
Paul (34 points) easily made all six free throws, the last two giving the Clippers a five-point lead that they never lost.
"We gave up six points in that respect," forward
The Spurs were on their heels the rest of the way, falling behind by 14 points in the fourth quarter, scrambling to unsuccessfully catch up.
"They were a lot more consistent then we were throughout the game," Duncan said. "I don't really see lack of focus or whatever else. I thought we were competing. I thought we were there. We just couldn't make the stops in a row when it counted."
And the Spurs couldn't make shots, shooting 44% from the field against a more aggressive Clippers defense, shooting just 24% (six for 25) against a Clippers defense that chased San Antonio's shooters off the three-point line.
"Today, they were inspired," guard