Though 2020 is nearly over, it keeps turning out sports milestones. On Wednesday night, for the first time, a woman served as head coach in an N.B.A. game.

When Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after arguing with a referee in the second quarter of a game with the Los Angeles Lakers in San Antonio, he turned to his assistant Becky Hammon and indicated that she should take over the team.

“He officially pointed at me,” Hammon said. “That was it. Said, ‘You’ve got them.’ Obviously, it’s a big deal. It’s a substantial moment.”

“It was business as usual,’’ she added. “They’re used to hearing my voice in practice. In practice, Pop will put us in two teams and we’ll each have a team. So they’re kind of used to hearing me out there, seeing me draw a play on the board or whatnot.”

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