“It was huge,” Butler said. “It’s big to come in here and get a win on the road.”
Ginobili joined San Antonio’s growing injury list Tuesday night, straining his left hamstring against Houston after throwing down a one-handed dunk.
“I don’t care, that’s just an excuse,” Popovich said. “Everybody tried as hard as they could. I don’t know how to measure fatigue. Just go play. We try to watch people’s minutes and that kind of thing.
“It doesn’t matter who’s hurt, or what your schedule is, or anything like that. You go play. Nobody cares. All that matters is the win or the loss. We lost or defensive consistency and they went up.”
The Bulls can certainly relate after losing All-Star point guard Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury.
The Bulls have attempted to step up collectively since the injury and that depth led them to their 10th road victory of the season.
Chicago had seven players score in double figures, with D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson adding 15 points each and Joakim Noah had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“We have a roster full of NBA players just like everybody else,” Butler said. “A lot of people sleep on us, but we have a really talented group of guys that do so many things well. When we play together and just as hard as we can, I think we can win a lot of games.”
With four players missing from their main rotation, the Spurs turned to their depth with less effectiveness.
Nando De Colo and newly signed Othyus Jeffers, who both played in the D League, both started for the first time this season. Jeffers brought hustle and De Colo another distributor, but neither brought much offense. Jeffers failed to score, going 0 for 1 from the field, and De Colo had eight points.