With his team down nine points in the fourth quarter, television cameras caught Popovich exhorting his team, Let's get nasty! The Spurs did get nasty, clawing back from out of their hole to win game one of the best-of-seven series with the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99.
The moment was exciting and it sparked the Spurs to their nineteenth straight victory including a 9-0 record in the playoffs. But they still have a very formidable task ahead of them in the form of the second seeded Thunder.
Oklahoma City hasn't lost back-to-back games since April 6 and while their recent play hardly stacks up to the 30-2 stretch that the Spurs are on, the Thunder aren't going to roll over.
The Thunder had a one point lead at the half and had stretched it to nine by the start of the fourth quarter before they gave up 39 points to the Spurs over the final 12 minutes of the game.
Russell Westbrook chalked up the meltdown to a defensive breakdown that just got out of hand, and perhaps there is some merit to that, but Oklahoma City can stop the Spurs. They held their opponents to just 16 points in the third quarter before things blew up.
Oklahoma City knows they can steal the momentum in this series if they can get a win in game two on Tuesday night before they head home for a pair of games.
Where To Watch: The game can be viewed online at FirstRowSports. It will also be broadcast nationally on TNT at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Prediction: Oklahoma City took their lumps in game one, but now they will give as good as they got. Expect the Thunder's defense to show up in all four quarters to allow the visitors to grab a tight road win.
Predicted Score: Oklahoma City over San Antonio 105-101.