Mills leads Spurs past Warriors
SAN ANTONIO -- Patty Mills scored 21 points, all in the first half, to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 107-85 victory over the reeling Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at AT&T Center in a battle between the top teams in the NBA.
The Spurs led by 20 points at halftime and was never threatened in the second half. The win pulled San Antonio (51-14) within a half-game of Golden State (52-14) for the top record in the league and the Western Conference.
Both teams were without their star players, either by plan or by injury.
Golden State rested Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson while Kevin Durant is still out indefinitely with a knee injury.
San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard (concussion protocol), LaMarcus Aldridge (minor heart arrhythmia), Tony Parker (back stiffness) and DeJounte Murray (left groin tightness) did not suit out.
The victory was San Antonio's second of the season against Golden State and garnered San Antonio (51-14) the edge in any tiebreaker between the teams if they are ties at the end of the year. The Spurs and Warriors play once more in the regular season on March 29 in San Antonio.
Davis Bertans and Kyle Anderson added 13 points each in the blowout for the Spurs. David Lee scored 12 points and Pau Gasol had 10 for San Antonio.
Ian Clark scored a career-high 36 points to lead the Warriors, which lost for the third straight outing and for the fifth time in the seven game since Durant's injury on Feb. 28. Golden State had not lost three consecutive regular-season game since Nov. 2013, but it did lose three straight in the NBA Finals last year to Cleveland.
Matt Barnes added 14 points and Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors.
The Spurs outshot Golden State 60.9 percent to 30.4 percent from the field in the first quarter and led by as many as 12 points before settling for a 33-22 lead.
Mills, usually a fire-plug off the bench, started for San Antonio and scored nine points by hitting four of his five shots from the field in the quarter. Barnes, who was signed by the Warriors on March 2 after being waived by Sacramento, led all scorers in the quarter with 10 points.
San Antonio led by 10 points five minutes into the second quarter before Mills and Bertans poured in 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push the Spurs' advantage to 53-37.
The Spurs expanded the lead to 20 points at intermission as Mills' 3-pointer off a Manu Ginobili feed with four seconds to play sent San Antonio to the locker room up 64-44.
Mills had 21 points at the half and Bertans added 11 for San Antonio as nine of the 10 players who took the floor for the Spurs scored. Clark paced the Warriors with 13 points and Barnes had 12.
San Antonio's lead ballooned to 28 points with 4:07 left in the third quarter on basket and a fouls some by Dewayne Dedmon and settled for an 86-63 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Warriors coach Steve Kerr appeared in 206 games (one start) in four seasons with San Antonio (1998-01, 2002-03), averaging 3.7 points in 12.6 minutes. Kerr won two NBA championships with San Antonio in 1998-99 and 2002-03. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was an assistant coach at Golden State under Don Nelson for two seasons (1992-94). ... Kerr was a teammate of current San Antonio G Tony Parker and G Manu Ginobili for one season (2002-03). ... Golden State is ranked first in offensive rating and is second in defensive rating, just behind the Spurs according to NBA.com/stats. ... In San Antonio's 102-92 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday, G Patty Mills became just the second Spurs player with 15-plus points and 10-plus assists off the bench since 1998 (Manu Ginobili). ... The Warriors return home to face Philadelphia on Tuesday and the Spurs host Atlanta on Monday.