SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich couldn't fully witness the return of veteran point guard Tony Parker during Monday's 115-108 win against the Dallas Mavericks, after officials ejected the coach in the second quarter following a pair of technical fouls.
Popovich received technical fouls from officials Ken Mauer and Joshua Tiven at the 7:35 mark of the second quarter, before Scott Twardoski finally ejected the coach.
The incident stemmed from a loose ball that appeared to bounce off the leg of Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell, before falling out of bounds. Officials gave possession to the Mavericks instead of the Spurs, despite several replays on the scoreboard showing the ball bounced out of bounds off Ferrell's leg.
Popovich pointed to his eyes and yelled, "Open your eyes," before Tiven whistled the coach for the first technical foul. Popovich continued to yell at the officials, with assistant Ettore Messina stepping in to pull away the coach, who appeared to shout some expletives before Twardoski called for the ejection.
Said Spurs guard Danny Green: "Without [Popovich], we know we have to pick up everywhere else: the energy, the focus, the execution. I think we did a decent job of that, especially with Tony coming back, his first game. We knew things would be a little different, but I think the guys adjusted well. They fit right in."
"It was quick," said forward LaMarcus Aldridge. "[We] would have [played with] an edge either way. You never want your coach to get thrown out."
Spurs security man David Birch escorted Popovich off the court, and Messina took over as San Antonio's coach.
"Of course when Coach Pop gets ejected, he shakes everything up. You don't want to let anybody down," said Messina. "Seeing that he leaves the game, the players maybe took two or three minutes. Then they refocused, they got a little bit more edge, and I think they executed pretty well. They limited the turnovers, which was very important, and we got good shots at the end."
"Sometimes, and sometimes you can't really tell," said Green when asked if players could tell when Popovich might be getting a technical. "You can tell from how the flow of the game might be going, his edginess maybe. But I didn't think he'd get tossed that quickly. It happened. I turned around and he got one [technical foul]."
Popovich now leads the NBA among coaches with four technical fouls on the season.
The ejection against the Mavericks marked Popovich's second of the season, and his second in the month of November.