SO BLOODY CLOSE.
Paddy Mills has carved himself out an extremely hand place on the San Antonio Spurs depth chart, and a spot in the starting lineup for today’s NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals‘ game 5 against the Houston Rockets is proof that the team values him pretty dang highly.
Mills’ responded by putting in a career playoff-best performance of 20 points, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 rebound in a well-rounded team performance from the Spurs, who squeaked out a 110-107 overtime victory over the Rockets and a rampaging James Harden who sunk a very casual triple-double.
But our Paddy came within a whisker of covering himself in glory on a buzzer-beater that was disallowed after he let the shot go just after time in regulation expired.
As the clock in the fourth quarter wound down with scores locked at 101-each, Mills had a chance to win the game for the Spurs. But some poor offensive structures and a pump fake saw the ball sail out of his hands just after the buzzer, banking off the glass and in for what would’ve been the game winner.
Coach Greg Popovich reamed Mills’ teammate Pau Gasol for not clearing out of the area quick enough for Paddy to set his shot up inside regulation, or for that matter not setting a screen on James Harden that would’ve allowed a much more open shot. Hell hath no fury like a Pop scorned for not executing the damned fundamentals.
Hot damn, that was close.
Luckily the Spurs were still able to close the game out, and they now take a 3-2 lead in the series against Houston, with the winner set to take on the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals.
GET ‘EM, PADDY.
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty.