San Antonio Spurs

Warriors' Steve Kerr shares hilarious Gregg Popovich ejection story

Warriors' Steve Kerr shares hilarious Gregg Popovich ejection story

Warriors coach Steve Kerr picked up two technical fouls late in the second quarter Monday night in Sacramento and was ejected.

When discussing the incident Tuesday afternoon, Kerr shared a hilarious story from when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich got tossed just over a minute into San Antonio's game at Denver on April 3 last season.

"I'm following the game on my phone, it says 6-4 Denver, last play foul on Spurs, Popovich ejected," Kerr explained on KNBR 680. "And I go, 'Oh my god, he got ejected in 60 seconds. That's epic.' So I call him. I figure I'm gonna leave a message. I call him (and) he actually picked it up!

"I had a conversation with him just as he got into the locker room. He's like, 'Can you believe this? Can you believe these guys tossed me after one minute?' So (last night) I grabbed my phone just to see if by any chance Pop might give me a call (laughter), but he didn't."

So in the end, Popovich is just like the rest of us because he went straight to his cell phone. Do you think he has a burner account on Twitter?

[RELATED: Kerr fined by NBA for verbally abusing ref after ejection]

As for Kerr -- he remained inside Golden 1 Center with the Warriors, and didn't catch a ride back to San Francisco early.

"I did stick around, (but) my sweats were on within probably five minutes of the ejection," he said. "The suit was gone, and I may or may not have had a cold beer in my hand at that point, too."

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Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 117-113 overtime loss to Spurs

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 117-113 overtime loss to Spurs

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- The battered Warriors have made a habit of playing hard throughout a losing season.  

On Tuesday night, the Warriors failed to finish, losing 117-113 in overtime to the Spurs. San Antonio outscored Golden State 17-13 in the final period, sending the Warriors to their second consecutive loss.

The Warriors (9-26) -- without D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein -- showed heart against the Spurs (14-18). Alec Burks scored 18 of his team-high 28 points over the final two periods, including a 3-pointer to bringing Golden State within three in the final minute.

Here are the immediate takeaways from AT&T Center: 

Early offensive flow

Continuing a recent trend, the Warriors got off to a fast start Tuesday. They scored 20 buckets on 16 assists in the first half, helping them take a two-point lead into halftime.

Glenn Robinson III scored 25 points, including a career-high 18 points in the first half, and two-way guard Damion Lee continued his solid stretch of games, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds on the night. Draymond Green even hit two 3-pointers, continuing a recent trend of success from beyond the arc.

Golden State's hot start came amid a recent barrage of injuries to key players, most notably Russell, who missed the game because of a shoulder contusion.

Can't guard the three

Despite the Warriors' hot offensive start, their defense beyond the 3-point line was atrocious. After the Warriors led 32-25 through the first 12 minutes, the Spurs hit three of their 14 3-pointers in the second quarter, helping San Antonio win the period by five.

Saint Mary's product Patty Mills hit five 3-pointers, and Dejounte Murray hit a dagger from beyond the arc with 1:22 left to seal the victory.

The Warriors' defense has been improving in recent weeks under assistant Jarron Collins' direction. But as Tuesday showed, there's still more work to be done.

Rebounding woes

With Cauley-Stein out against San Antonio's vaunted frontline, the Warriors were bound to struggle on the glass. They did just that, as the Spurs outrebounded them 53-44.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, battering any big in his way. With Cauley-Stein out, Warriors coach Steve Kerr elected to put 19-year old Alen Smailigic on the veteran, to no avail.

With their current frontline, the Warriors are susceptible to performances like these. Against the Spurs, it hurt them dearly.

Warriors' Steve Kerr wants slight rule change as NBA heads into 2020s

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AP

Warriors' Steve Kerr wants slight rule change as NBA heads into 2020s

SAN ANTONIO - The NBA has seen a rise in offensive numbers over the last 10 years, as the league has prioritized its rules to cater to high-scoring games. While the trend has helped offensive output, it has caught the ire of both Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who hopes to see subtle rule changes going forward. 

"I would like to see a slight reversal in what we’re trying to accomplish as a league," Kerr said prior to Tuesday's game against the Spurs. "I think we’ve gone overboard in rewarding offensive players. And what I mean by that is we’ve rewarded offensive players for fooling the officials and attempting to fool the officials." 

The NBA's prioritization of offense began prior to the 1997-98 season, when the league outlawed hand-checking, allowing more freedom of movement for players. Over the last 20 years, the rule change -- combined with modern offensive spacing -- has helped more offensive movement. It's also caused a rise in foul calls, as players like James Harden and Chris Paul have routinely led the league in free-throw attempts. This season, according to FiveThirtyEight.com, foul-outs are on pace to increase 60 percent.

On Tuesday, Kerr offered a solution. 

"I think we need to get back to the point where players need to earn fouls and earn it by beating their man," Kerr said, "and drawing contact in a natural way and not flopping and flailing and grabbing arms and that’s going on all over the league.

"We have to decide as a league, are we going to call fouls that people would laugh about at a pickup game? That’s what we have to decide ultimately. And to me that’s where we’ve gone overboard."

On the other end of the arena, Popovich agreed, saying the current game is tedious to coach.

"It's very boring," Popovich said. "It's just simplistic."

[RELATED: Kerr wants Warriors to emulate Spurs]

Still, Kerr said he doesn't blame players for hunting for calls. 

"If the league is going to allow it then the players should 100 percent do it," Kerr said. "If the team is in the bonus and Chris Paul is standing at halfcourt and he’s going to swipe his arms underneath the guy 40 feet from the hoop and the ref is going to call it then Chris Paul should absolutely do it. More power to him."