Chicago (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs suffered their first road loss of the season on Thursday, as the Chicago Bulls led wire-to-wire en route to a 95-91 victory that snapped a three-game skid.
The Spurs needed just one more road win to tie the National Basketball Association record of 14 straight road victories to start a season, set by the Golden State Warriors last season.
But they failed to fire against a struggling team and coach Gregg Popovich was livid that they could not deliver in front of a crowd of 21,400 at United Centre.
"I don't remember playing tonight. The guys get a lot of money to get ready to play," said Popovich of the Spurs.
"No Knute Rockne speeches. It is your job. If you are a plumber and you don't do your job, then you don't get any work. If you are a doctor and you botch operations you are not a doctor anymore.
"If you are a basketball player you come ready."
Veteran Dwayne Wade led the Bulls on Thursday with 19 points. Rajon Rondo finished an assist short of a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Jimmy Butler added 13 - all in the second half. Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez each had 12 for the Bulls, who led by as much as 18 points in the third quarter and fended off strong San Antonio comeback attempt in the fourth.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs and all scorers with 24 points, Patty Mills added 16 points and Pau Gasol had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in his return to Chicago after leaving via free agency in the offseason.