Popovich trying everything to spark Spurs

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has exhausted the motivational gamut to try to revive his team’s sagging fortunes.

“He’s been on us in both ways — in an aggressive way and also in a positive way,” DeMar DeRozan said after the Spurs’ 121-119 loss to Denver on Friday night.

It was the Spurs’ fifth defeat in a row, their longest skid since they dropped five straight from Feb. 3-10, 2020. If they lose Sunday to the Mavericks in Dallas, it will be their longest losing streak since they lost eight in a row from Nov. 9-22, 2019.

After watching his team lose to the Nuggets 106-96 on Wednesday, Popovich was in “aggressive” mode, calling out the team’s bench in a video news conference from Denver.

“Poor play by too many people,” Popovich said. “The second team’s got to play better — just look at the plus-minus the last few games. First team is doing pretty well, but off the bench, we’ve been just destroyed. And it happened again tonight.”

Before and after Friday’s setback, Popovich offered only positive reinforcement.

“He was proud of the fight that we had,” DeRozan said. “We definitely have to carry it over. He’s definitely been on us in a positive way, but in a way that we need it. We responded well tonight. It just sucks that we didn’t come out with a ‘W.’”

The Spurs have started April 0-5 for their worst start in the…

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Tom Orsborn

Tom Orsborn

San Antonio Express-News

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Sportswriter for 35 years at San Antonio Express-News, covering everything from preps to the Cowboys to the Spurs. Proud San Antonio College alum.