Lakers beat Mills' Spurs in NBA
Boomers point guard Patty Mills again played valuable minutes for the Spurs, but didn’t capitalise, scoring just seven points off 11 shots, while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out two assists in his 21 minutes on the court.
Mills was given a larger share of court time as coach Gregg Popovich was unable to call on regular back-up guard Gary Neal (gastroenteritis).
The Spurs had no answer for Lakers centre Andrew Bynum, who crashed the boards for an astonishing 30 rebounds while also adding 16 points, as Metta World Peace led all scorers with 26 points.
Pau Gasol added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who had six players score in double figures and notched their sixth win in eight games despite being without Bryant, the league’s leading scorer, who missed his third straight game with a sore left shin.
The Lakers stayed one and a half games in front of cross-town rivals the Clippers at the top of the Pacific Division.
The Clippers edged Western Conference leaders Oklahoma City 100-98 on Wednesday thanks to a Chris Paul layup with 8.8 seconds left.
The Spurs, assured of a playoff berth, remain a game behind Oklahoma City in the West as they suffered a second straight defeat in the wake of their 11-game winning streak.
Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points. Tim Duncan added 14 points and two rebounds, but Tony Parker was limited to just four points, making a disappointing 2-of-12 from the floor.
The Lakers are now four and a half games behind the Spurs for second place in the West.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again in Los Angeles on April 17 and in San Antonio on April 20.
In Boston, Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime that gave Celtic an 88-86 victory over Atlanta, while Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points as Memphis won their fourth straight with victory over Phoenix 104-93.
In Houston, Gordan Hayward scored a season-high 29 points as Utah boosted their fading playoff hopes with a win over Houston 103-91, and in Milwaukee, JR Smith hit a three-pointer for the lead with 1:04 left as New York held on to beat Milwaukee 111-107.
In other games, Denver downed Minnesota 113-107, Indiana pipped Cleveland 104-98 in overtime, Philadelphia belted the Raptors 93-75 in Toronto, Portland overpowered Golden State 118-110 and New Orleans were too good for Sacramento 105-96.
13 Apr 8:03 AM