Now Mike Budenholzer knows what it’s like to be on the losing end of all those Spurs victories.
This win didn’t come easy for the home team.
The Spurs used a late fourth-quarter rally, that required a Tim Duncan jump shot with .4 seconds left, for a 102-100 victory over the Hawks Monday night at the AT&T Center.
Duncan, Tony Parker and Danny Green hit consecutive baskets, the last a 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer with 2:53 left, to put the Spurs up by seven points.
The Hawks rallied and Paul Millsap hit a 3-pointer to make it a 98-97 game with 17.5 seconds left. Manu Ginobili hit a pair of free throws with 15.1 seconds left. Jeff Teague hit a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to tie the score, 100-all.
Then Duncan won it. Paul Millsap’s less-than-a-second left attempt hit the side of the backboard.
For the Hawks (9-10, 4-7 road) it was their sixth straight loss to the Spurs and 16th straight in San Antonio. The Hawks have lost five of their last six games to fall below .500 for the first time since the first week of the season.
All five Hawks starters scored in double-figures led by Teague with 19 points. Al Horford (18), DeMarre Carroll (17), Paul Millsap (15) and Lou Williams (10) were the others in double digits. Millsap had a double-double with 14 rebounds.
The Spurs (15-3, 8-1 home) were led by Duncan with 23 points and 21 rebounds. Former Hawks first-round draft pick Boris Diaw had 16 points.
Budenholzer coached his first game in San Antonio after 19 years as a Spurs assistant. His mentor during all those seasons, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, admitted that the notion of coaching against his long-time friend was difficult.
“I don’t like it at all,” Popovich said before the game. “It’s awkward. Win or lose it’s an odd feeling with any of them. You win and you feel badly. You lose and you feel even worse. … You don’t want your opponent to lose in those situations, as crazy as that might sound. I want Bud to win. I want our guys to win. It’s just strange.”
The Hawks led by as many as eight points late in the third quarter, 71-63, with an 8-0 run that included a 3-pointer and steal and layup by Millsap. However, the Spurs answered with a 10-0 run, the last six on back-to-back 3-pointers by Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili, for a 73-71 advantage going into the final quarter.
The Spurs led 50-49 at the half in a back-and-forth first two quarters. The Spurs led by as many as four points, the Hawks by as many as three points.
The Spurs shot 61.1 percent in the first quarter and outscored the Hawks 20-10 in points in the paint. By halftime, the Hawks had narrowed the inside scoring gap to 30-24.
The Hawks open a four-game homestand Wednesday against the Clippers. It starts a span of seven out of eight games at Philips Arena.