With 6:16 remaining in the game on Thursday evening in Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors were tied at 95. Spurs guard Patty Mills would go on his own 6-0 run by draining back-to-back three pointers that would eventually lead to a 107-101 Spurs win.
Mills, who led the way with 34 points and 12 assists, guided the Spurs to an NBA record 13th 50-win season, as the Spurs finish the lockout season at 50-16. The Spurs also head into the postseason on a 10-game winning streak. They’re the only team this season to have three double-digit wining streaks.
Mills came out firing to start the game as he had 14 points in the first quarter. The Warriors however, would close the first quarter on s 15-4 run. The Warriors led by two points after the first quarter. DeJuan Blair got into the scoring mix by adding 10 of his 22 points by halftime. The pace would slow down just a bit for both teams as their shooting percentages began to drop. Then with time winding down, Mills made a buzzer beater to cut the Warriors’ lead down to one by halftime.
James Anderson, who started on Thursday night so Kawhi Leonard could get some rest, found his offensive assertiveness in the third quarter as he began the third with the first nine points for the Spurs. Anderson was driving, shooting from the outside, and even dunking to score 14 points in the third, he had 18 points after the third quarter ended, and the Spurs had regained the lead 84-82.
The Spurs played their best defense in the fourth quarter, when it mattered most, by holding the Warriors to just 19 points. The Spurs managed to put up just 23 points themselves, but the fourth was a battle throughout until the teams were tied at 95, and the Spurs, led by Mills, would go on to outscore them 12-6 the rest of the way.
What’s important to take away from this game is the amount of rest the players who will probably be in the playoff rotation received. Leonard didn’t play, Stephen Jackson didn’t play, Danny Green played just 7:54, Boris Diaw played less than 20 minutes, Matt Bonner only played 12:49, and Tiago Splitter played 7:23. The “Big Three” of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili all remained in San Antonio along with Gary Neal and head coach Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs team will fly back to San Antonio on Friday, then they’ll begin preparing for the Utah Jazz who are set to tip-off round one of the NBA Playoffs in San Antonio at noon (CST) against the Spurs.