Shorthanded Spurs fall short in Philly: Three Standout Players

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Photo courtesy: NBA.com

The San Antonio Spurs’ rally fell short as they closed out their three-game road trip with a 112-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.

San Antonio played without five of their key players as Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, and Rudy Gay all sat out. As a result, the Spurs started off slow and eventually trailed by as many as 16 points. A late rally saw the Silver and Black take a slim lead in the final minutes, but Philly proved too much.

Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs as well as three standout players: Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Davis Bertans.

The Good:

  • Despite the loss, the Spurs young players got much needed experience during the game, including rookie Derrick White.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge went up against two up and coming big men in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, yet he still performed at a very high level.
  • Patty Mills shined and showed his true form.

The Bad:

  • San Antonio’s slow starts returned in Philly as the 76ers raced out to a 27-22 first quarter lead as the Spurs struggled on both ends of the floor, leaving Coach Pop less than pleased.
  • Pau Gasol struggled early against the young and quicker Philly bigs, leaving Pop to play him only 12 minutes.

Three Standout Players:

    Patty Mills: The Spurs fan favorite has had his struggles to start the season, but Wednesday showed why the Spurs re-signed the Aussie guard to a $50 million deal.

Mills finished with a season-high and game-high 26 points on 7-of-17 shooting. The performance from Mills paired with Aldridge kept the Silver and Black in the game late and was key to their come back in the second half. If Mills can start scoring 12-16 points per game on a consistent basis, it will make the Spurs’ second unit that much more dangerous heading into the playoffs.

    LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs work horse went up against some of the tougher defenses he has seen this season and he answered the call perfectly. With the 76ers sending Embiid and Simmons to Aldridge, he still found a way to get his impact on the game.

Aldridge finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds in the win. What is so impressive is that LMA looked like the Aldridge of the Portland days when he fought for rebounds, stayed aggressive when his shot wasn’t falling or when Philly got aggressive on defense. A far cry from his earlier seasons in San Antonio. This is also a good sign as the NBA Playoffs begin later on this year.

    Davis Bertans: Davis Bertans came off the bench and showed why he is such a secret weapon for the Spurs. He finished with 13 points and went 3-of-9 from three point range.

It just goes to show when Bertans is called upon to enter the game, he will be ready and can score quickly. That will come in handy for the Spurs later in the season when the standings and games become tighter.

Up next:

The Spurs are now 26-13 on the season and will return to the court on Friday when they welcome the Phoenix Suns to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.

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