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Aaron Falk and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm

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Popovich rips Green for defense on Williams' game-winner

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich pointed a finger of blame squarely at Danny Green after Utah's Mo Williams' buzzer-beating three-point shot Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

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With the game tied, 96-96, Williams dribbled away the final seconds before pulling up and firing a 25-footer over Green. The ball went through the net as time expired.

Popovich said Green "made a huge defensive mistake" by not crowding Williams and forcing him to put the ball on the floor.

"What do you think a guy is going to do with two seconds on the clock?" Popovich told reporters. "You make him drive. You don't step back on Mo Williams. That's why he was on him -- why we didn't have to have a small guy like Tony Parker. We put a big guy on him for that reason -- to get up on him -- and he backed off. Huge defensive error that cost us the game."

Tim Duncan finished with 22 points, 21 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Spurs.

"It was disappointing down the stretch," he said. "Made too many mistakes as a team. Individually, I made too many mistakes. I missed a jumper on the baseline I thought was down. ... Just too many mistakes down the stretch and we couldn't recover."

Asked about Williams' game-winner, Manu Ginobili said, "Great shot. We should have been a little bit more on top of him. When a player has only two seconds, he doesn't have many options. But it happens. ... Bottom-line is he made a great shot. We shouldn't have arrived at that spot."

— Steve Luhm



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