Turnovers gnaw at Popovich despite Game One victory

Fri Jun 6, 2014 6:17pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - The list of things the San Antonio Spurs did superbly in the opening game of the NBA Finals is textbook: shooting, defense, rebounding and assists.

But coach Gregg Popovich knows that the Spurs will not beat the Miami Heat over a full series and claim their first championship since 2007 if they cannot control turnovers.

San Antonio committed 22 on Thursday but did everything else so wonderfully, the result was a 110-95 victory.

"Both teams were a little bit sloppy in that regard (Miami had 16) for sure and it's always frustrating to a coach," Popovich told reporters on Friday.

"Some turnovers were forced, some unforced. But the unforced ones are the ones that drive you really crazy. For us, that's always a bad sign. We escaped last night by shooting the ball the way we did, I guess.

"So if that continues, we're going to have a big problem."

Spurs guard Tony Parker agreed with Popovich.

"I still feel lucky because when we have 20‑plus turnovers, we lose those games," said Parker, who had 19 points, eight assists but four turnovers in the series opener.   Continued...

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich speaks during a media session for their NBA Finals basketball series against the Miami Heat in San Antonio, Texas June 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Stone