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Carlisle hits major milestone after dominating win over Spurs

Rick Carlisle celebrates 900th career win

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers put on a show in front of the home crowd Monday night. Not only did they put up record numbers against the San Antonio Spurs, but head coach Rick Carlisle reached his own major milestone.

900 career wins.

“The water and Gatorade, whatever it was, was ice cold,” Carlisle said when talking about the team dousing him in the locker room after the game. “I got completely sopped. It was the best ice bath I’ve ever had.”

Carlisle is now among the few NBA coaches to hit this milestone after Monday’s 152-111 win over the Spurs. The Pacers players were grateful to help get him that 900th win.

“It was amazing,” Pacers forward Jalen Smith said. “We all know who Rick is. He’s a hall of fame coach. It’s just a matter of time he gets inducted. It feels special to be a part of that.”

The monumental moment came in record fashion. The Pacers tied franchise records in both points in a single half (56) and points in a single game (152).

“It was fun, but it’s more hats off to Rick,” guard Buddy Hield said. “Records come and go, but getting to 900 wins as a coach is unheard of. He shows that the hard work that he puts in this league is really paying off. 900 is elite.”

Carlisle is now just one of two active NBA coaches with 900 or more wins. The other? Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich — the same coach the Pacers beat to get Carlisle his 900th win. Carlisle knows he wouldn’t be where he is today without Pop’s mentorship over the years.

“It was meaningful that he was there last night,” Carlisle said. “Gregg Popovich is the greatest coach in the history of the NBA, in my opinion. It’s just a privilege to know him, and to keep competing against him and his teams. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and yes, it was fun getting the win.”

Next up: 901.