Aron Baynes sank a floater with just three seconds on the clock to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 106-104 win over Atlanta Hawks.
The Spurs led by 14, before the Hawks came back in the fourth quarter. However, they hung on to register a narrow victory. Tony Parker scored 17 points for the Spurs, while Tim Duncan had 16 points to add to his eight rebounds. Manu Ginobili also scored 11 points.
For Atlanta, Jeff Teague had 15 points and DeMarre Carroll scored 14. The Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer saw plenty of positives in an encouraging show by his team. "I think there are a lot of positives to take from the game tonight. The group kept competing. The ball movement overall, 30 assists on 39 baskets, is something that we have been emphasizing, talking a lot about. The pace that we played at for a lot of the game. Jeff (Teague) really being the engine that generates that pace and gets us out and going."
There was some history associated with the game with the Hawks' coach Mike Budenholzer having worked as an assistant with the Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich for 17 years. Popovich chose to have a look at his bench strength, by giving them time on the court. He will be hoping to go one step ahead this season. Last season, Spurs lost to Miami Heat 3-4 in an epic NBA final.
"It's good to see our guys in those circumstances and it helps me figure out who the bench is going to be. Leaving those guys on the court and letting them play is the only way to figure that out. I learned more about those guys instead of just watching them in practice", Popovich said.