With Manu Ginobili back to face the Clippers, it looked as if the Spurs roster was going to look like it's old self. "Old" proved to be the operative word again, and it looks like the team won't be fully stocked until the "foreseeable future."
But this San Antonio squad is prone to quickly filling for others' roles, and it was Patty Mills who the Clippers will be having nightmares of tonight.
Early on in the first half, the Spurs showed that they were willing to match the Clippers' quick pace. Both teams traded leads back and forth, but it was the Spurs who would go into the locker room ahead. San Antonio finished the half going on a 12-1 run in the final two minutes to go up 56-51 at the half-way mark. Danny Green lead the team at the half with 13 points, going 3-for-4 from deep.
The second half was when things became a little chippy. Bodies were all over the court, Griffin got a tech called on him for giving the ref a mouthful while handing him the ball, and Patty Mills gave Chris Paul a bloody mouth. Amidst all of that, the Spurs were able to hold onto their lead as they headed into the 4th quarter up by 6 thanks to a nifty floater by Patty Mills and a late coast-to-coast score by Boris Diaw.
It was in the 4th that Mills became the Human Torch and incinerated any hope the Clippers had of a comeback victory. Mills scored the Spurs' first 11 points of the quarter and added another three-pointer in DeAndre Jordan's face. The point separation became too large for the Clippers to fight back from, and the Spurs left The Staples Center with a win over a good Clippers squad.
Mills' night was impressive, yet again, finishing with 25 points (16 in the 4th quarter!) and 5 assists. Tim Duncan messed around and got another double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
In his first game back, Ginobili scored 9 points in just under 15 minutes of play.
The Spurs move to 39-15 on the season and will head into Portland to face the Blazers tomorrow night.