Spurs tip Bobcats behind Mills’ 32


By STEVE REED

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Patty Mills scored 18 of his season-high 32 points in the fourth quarter and Tim Duncan had a double-double to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-100 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night for their fourth win in five games.

Mills was 10 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 5 in the fourth quarter. He also connected on 8 of 9 foul shots and had four 3-pointers to help the Spurs defeat the Bobcats for the sixth straight time.

Duncan finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season.

The Spurs trailed by one entering the fourth quarter when Mills took over, knocking down jumpers and floaters in the lane to push the lead to nine.

The red-hot Al Jefferson led the way for the Bobcats with 26 points and nine rebounds. Gerald Henderson had 23 points.

The crucial play came with the Spurs leading 99-95 with 26 seconds left when Josh McRoberts stole the ball from Duncan at the top of the key. But an overanxious McRoberts, looking ahead to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a fast break, threw the ball away.

Charlotte got the lead down to 102-100 when Henderson knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner after corralling an offensive rebound with 3.1 seconds left, but Nando De Colo sealed the victory with two free throws.

San Antonio came in having won their last three games against the Bobcats by an average of 28 points.

In this one, the Spurs never led by more than four points in the first three quarters.

The Bobcats jumped out an 18-6 lead behind Jefferson, who was active in the low post on both sides of the ball with 10 points and three steals in the first quarter.

The Spurs countered by moving the more physical Boris Diaw to bang in the low block with Jefferson instead of Duncan. Diaw turned out to be the best option for coach Gregg Popovich, particularly with center Tiago Splitter sitting out with a calf contusion.

PISTONS 126

NUGGETS 109

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Brandon Jennings had a season-high 35 points to go with 12 assists, Josh Smith had 30 points and the Detroit Pistons avoided another fourth-quarter collapse in a 126-109 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The game didn’t quite match the highest-scoring game in NBA history, Detroit’s 186-184 triple-overtime win over Denver 30 years ago, but still saw 11 players score in double figures and the Pistons put up a season high in points.

Rodney Stuckey added 19 points for Detroit, while Andre Drummond had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Randy Foye led the Nuggets with 25 points, while Wilson Chandler scored 20 and J.J. Hickson added 15 points and 16 rebounds.

TRAIL BLAZERS 117

TIMBERWOLVES 110

MINNEAPOLIS — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half and Wesley Matthews added 21 to help the Portland Trail Blazers hold off the injury-depleted Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110.

Aldridge had six points during Portland’s game-deciding 13-1 run in the fourth quarter.

Corey Brewer led Minnesota with 26 points and Ricky Rubio scored a career-high 25 for the Wolves, who were without All-Star Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin.

Despite trailing for much of the game, the short-handed Wolves showed plenty of grit, getting 19 points from Chase Budinger, 14 from Dante Cunningham and a season-high 12 from rookie Shabazz Muhammad.

 

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