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Popovich cracks some jokes after a satisfying win

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 21, 2012 11:16 PM

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is a fun guy to talk to. His postgame press conference was in the hallway outside the locker room and Popovich was holding his sneakers and his suit jacket.

He didn't want to loiter, but he dropped a few good quotes on his way out.

On second-year guard Gary Neal scoring 12 points: "His job is to shoot the ball. Other than that he got no clue. He did what’s supposed to do."

On occasional bricklayer Tiago Splitter going 5 for 5 from the foul line: "That amazes the free world, when he makes those free throws."

Popovich, when he wasn't cracking jokes, was impressed with his team's 112-100 victory against the Celtics and the speed with which they played.

"I felt like we had a pretty good pace, we wanted to keep up a good pace," Popovich said. "You can’t get it unless you get a stop and get a board. That’s why I thought the boards were so important for us because they fueled some offense for us.”

San Antonio shot 58 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Celtics, 41-25. They had six players in double figures.

"You know, offensively you score 100 points, you’re pretty happy," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "But we just let a team shoot 58 percent against us. We let a team shoot 50 percent from the three against us. And it’s tough to win a game, you shouldn’t win a game, if that happens.”

The Celtics (6-6) host the Thunder on Friday. Their defense will have to get a lot better.

Have a good Thanksgiving, everybody. Be safe.

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