Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Patty Mills saw extended minutes due to
the absence of Tony Parker and scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth
quarter to help the San Antonio Spurs pull away from the Los Angeles Clippers,
113-103, on Thursday at Staples Center.
Parker is dealing with several ailments and will be sidelined "for the
foreseeable future," as per head coach Gregg Popovich's assessment hours
before the club's first game following the All-Star break.
Mills filled in for the All-Star admirably and also got help from last
weekend's three-point champion, Marco Belinelli (20 points) and Tim Duncan,
who flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, 13 boards and seven assists.
Blake Griffin poured in 35 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the
Clippers, who had won three in a row coming in. Jamal Crawford chipped in with
25 points and Chris Paul netted 11 with nine assists but shot just 1-of-10
from the field.
Mills single-handedly turned a six-point Spurs lead entering the fourth to a
12-point cushion, 93-81, with a personal 11-5 stretch over the first three-
plus minutes of frame.
Five straight points from Griffin and a 3-pointer from Crawford cut LA's
deficit to 97-91 with 5:17 remaining, but Belinelli's mid-range jumper
followed by a Mills triple and Boris Diaw floater rebuilt San Antonio's double
digit lead that was never seriously threatened over the final four minutes.
The largest lead for either team over the first three quarters of this tight
contest was eight, held by the Clippers midway through the first quarter.
The Spurs quickly erased that and ended the opening half on a 12-1 run to
bring a 56-51 lead into the intermission.
An equally even third stanza ended with the Spurs holding an 82-76 advantage.
The Spurs improved to 5-2 on their nine-game road trip ... Los Angeles came in
14-2 at home against Western Conference opponents ... Danny Green scored 14
points for the Spurs, who made half of their shots (44-of-88) and held the
Clippers to 43.2 percent (35-of-81) shooting.
The Sports Network