San Antonio Spurs fans likely woke up to the news of last night’s 125-118 double overtime win at Washington and expected to see a name like Parker or Duncan in the headlines.
To borrow a hockey phrase, it was a Saint Mary’s product that instead earned the night’s first star.
Patty Mills continued to make his name as the Spurs backup point guard, scoring 11 of his season-high 23 points in overtime to help San Antonio rally for a 125-118 win in the nation’s capital. He went 7 for 14 from the floor, including 4 for 9 from 3-point range, and filled in as starter Tony Parker missed the second half and overtime due to a tight back.
Wednesday’s heroics didn’t come from thin air. Mills has been a valuable contributor all season, averaging 8.7 points in 17.4 minutes per game. His 23 points against the Wizards came in just 20 minutes of action and helped bail the Spurs out of a final four-plus minutes in which they did not have stars Parker, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard or Manu Ginobili.
Mills will likely play a big role again today as the Spurs finish off a back-to-back with a trip to Brooklyn to face the Nets. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has already ruled Parker out, which means the former Saint Mary’s star should see plenty of action.