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Spurs 100, Nets 95: Who shined and who didn't?

Patty Mills (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

The San Antonio Spurs were able to pick up the road win tonight against the Brooklyn Nets with a final score of 100-95. This brings their record to 30-16 on the season which brings them back to third in the Western Conference.

On a day the Spurs found out that they would be sitting their star player Kawhi Leonard indefinitely, they did not let this phase them and came out of the gates strong.

A lot of players stepped up for the Spurs in the win. Let’s take a look at who really shined and who didn’t for the Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills:

There isn’t much to say about LaMarcus Aldridge anymore since we have given him this honor on a consistent basis. But, it is always worth noting when he has a major game like he did tonight.

The big man finished the game with 34 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. This was his seventh time this season scoring 30 points or more.

Aldridge did a little bit of everything tonight, but there were a few plays that stood out more than others. The most impressive being the monster jam he had in the third quarter.

The next being a crucial and-one late in the fourth that would help seal the game for the Spurs. Because of this, they were able to fight off a late-game surge from the Nets.

Every superhero needs a sidekick, and tonight Patty Mills was the perfect one for Aldridge.

Mills came out in this game on fire not missing a single shot in the first half. He finished the half with 15 points including a perfect 5-5 from deep.

He would go on to finish the game with 25 points and also added a few rebounds and few assists. Mills was also responsible for hitting a few free throws in the fourth.

Kyle Anderson:

Anderson has been one of the most important players for the Spurs this season, but tonight was not one of those nights.

Anderson struggled to do anything and finished the game with only two points, one rebound, and two assists. He also added two turnovers to his stat sheet.

The Spurs need Anderson to play well now more than ever. With Leonard and Gay out due to injury, this means that Anderson is going to be playing more and more minutes each night.

But, if he is performing like this, then we could see head coach Gregg Popovich look to someone else to fill that position.

Twitter: @TylerClerkin

Aldridge, Mills lead Spurs over Nets after Leonard shut down

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The news about Kawhi Leonard was bad, though at least there's some consolation for the San Antonio Spurs.

The way LaMarcus Aldridge is playing, they might be able to hang on until their other star forward gets back.

Aldridge scored 34 points and the Spurs responded to the latest absence of Leonard by beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Wednesday night.

"L.A. is the reason we've kept a pretty good record and stayed in the hunt with so many injuries, in-and-outs, Kawhi and Tony (Parker) being gone so long," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It's L.A. every night. Maybe somebody else will step up with him, but he's been a warrior for sure. We'd be in deep kimchi if he isn't playing the way he is."

The Spurs announced earlier Wednesday that Leonard would be out indefinitely so he can continue rehabilitating from the right thigh injury that forced him to miss the start of the season.

"We didn't feel he was ready. His confidence level wasn't there, so we decided to give it some more time," Popovich said.

They were fine without him Wednesday, thanks also to Patty Mills' seven 3-pointers and 25 points, and Pau Gasol's 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

"It was one of those things that we got told this morning and it was like, we can't do anything about it, we can't control it, so this is the group," Mills said. "We don't know how long he's going to be out for, but this is our group and we've got go and get the job done."

Mills combined with Aldridge on the most important moment of the game, a three-point play for Aldridge with 53 seconds remaining on a pass from the reserve guard after the Nets had cut a 17-point deficit to three.

Allen Crabbe scored 20 points and Joe Harris had 18 for the Nets, who lost their third straight.

"Obviously they get the ball to Aldridge and Gasol and then they obviously make plays to their shooters off the post-up actions, and Patty Mills had a great day today as well," Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie said.

Mills went 5 for 5 off the bench in the first half, all 3-pointers, and finished with the most 3-pointers by a Spurs player this season.

TIP-INS

Spurs: San Antonio was also without Manu Ginobili because of a bruised right thigh. ... Ginobili and Davis Bertans had shared the Spurs' high of six 3-pointers in a game this season.

Nets: Brooklyn has lost five straight at home. ... The Nets have dropped the last six meetings.

KAWHI'S CONCERNS

Leonard has played in just nine games after missing the beginning of the season because of right quadriceps tendinopathy. He also was sidelined briefly because of a shoulder injury. Popovich said Leonard hadn't sustained another injury, but also didn't seem confident in his ability to play at the level that had him finishing third in the voting for NBA MVP last season.

"He didn't reinjure it or anything but he was having pain, but not right after games, but maybe the next day at noon or that kind of thing and so the pain wasn't dissipating," Popovich said. "It wasn't going in the right direction, it was going the other way and you've got to be confident in your body to go out there and play at the level that he's expected to play."

POPOVICH ON ...

PLAYER ALTERCATIONS: "NBA fights are the silliest, namby-pambiest things I've ever seen in my life. Except there was that one in the stands a few years ago. That one got ugly."

RESPONDING TO REFEREES: "It evens out, it's just that we're all so prejudice it's ridiculous. We think we're the ones getting screwed all the time. So referees cannot win. I don't care what happens, they will never win. Everybody's always going to (complain) about them, so it's best to just play the game, don't cry about it and move on."

STRUGGLING SPENCER

Dinwiddie shot 3 for 13 from the field and is 9 for 43 in the last three games.

UP NEXT

Spurs: Visit Toronto on Friday night.

Nets: Host Miami on Friday night.


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