Many headlines have been swirling around the San Antonio Spurs this season. They’ve included big-name injuries, trade rumors and the looming retirement of Tim Duncan, but the only Spurs’ headline that mattered on Tuesday night was the 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
With the news breaking that Tony Parker would be out of the Spurs’ lineup for the “foreseeable future,” the idea of a road win against the likes of “Lob City” was not a likely result. But once again, the incredible coaching talent that is Gregg Popovich was able to do more with less. And less by no means was in reference to Patty Mills, who finished with a team-high 25 points off the bench.
Mills saved his best for last, scoring 11 consecutive points to start the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the final period. Two of his biggest shots came in the form of three-point bombs that quietly put the game away. The stellar performance was the third game of 20-points or more for Mills this month.
The opportunity for experience and growth has been basically handed to Mills this season with all the injuries that have entered San Antonio’s stratosphere. Mills’ shot selection and decision-making has been superb for the Spurs this season, and his willingness to share the ball is the reason for his offensive success.
Duncan added another double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. The “Big Fundamental” clocked 37 minutes on the night, the second-highest for any active Spurs’ player in the game.
The victory was the 21st road win for the Spurs who hold currently the best road record in the NBA. If San Antonio can maintain their road prowess, they will extend the NBA record for most consecutive winning seasons on the road to an astonishing number of 17.
It is safe to say that with Parker out for an indefinite amount of time, Mills, among other players, will have to continue to elevate if San Antonio wants to stay in contention with the top teams of the Western Conference.