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Patty Mills’ clutch game-winner saves the Spurs from overtime defeat

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FIBA Patty makes a timely appearance for a capricious Spurs offense

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

San Antonio became the first team in NBA history to participate in a fourth-straight overtime game on Saturday night. And despite that remarkably unique phenomenon, the Spurs had little to celebrate before the final buzzer.

Their offense was out of sorts, DeMar DeRozan bricked yet another crunch-time free throw (after LaMarcus Aldridge had done the same at the end of regulation to allow the Suns to force OT), and Lonnie Walker IV exited the game with an apparent knee injury on his 21st birthday. Still, not everything was awful in Spursland.

The Silver and Black won the game, Dejounte Murray filled up the boxscore, and Patty Mills swooped in to save the day with the game on the line. Bala Pat played with the trademarked scrappiness that has made him a fan favorite in Alamo City and led all scorers with 26 points.

He also knocked down a mid-range jumper with 0.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Spurs their 10th victory of the season. Coach Pop drew up a play for Mills, Aldridge set a screen to give him a crack of daylight, and the Aussie brought them one game closer to the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.

San Antonio’s high-energy point guard has always been a staple of their second unit, but he’s been especially effective this season. The eleven-year pro is averaging a career-high 11.7 points per game on 46-42-80 shooting splits, and his 52 threes off the pine are tied for fourth among all bench players.

While he may not have a legitimate shot at making a run for Sixth Man of Year, there’s no question the spunky sharpshooter has been the heart and soul of the Spurs bench mob. And that may not count for much in your book, but ponder this. Where would this 10-15 team be without Patty Mills?