Mills scores 31 to lead Spurs past Curry-less Warriors
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors are finding out what it’s like to be a team saddled with injuries.
Patty Mills came off the bench to score 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat Golden State 127-110 on Friday night, hours after the Warriors learned they will be without injured star Stephen Curry for at least three months.
A sellout crowd of 18,064 was announced at Chase Center, yet there were a noticeable number of empty seats in the Warriors’ new arena.
Curry’s injury has compounded things for a franchise that appears destined for a long season after appearing in the NBA Finals for five consecutive seasons.
“We went the bulk of five years being pretty healthy. We went the bulk of five years beating up on pretty much everyone,” Green said. “Right now, it’s our turn to get beat up on. It’s kind of what’s going on.”
LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points for the Spurs (4-1), who were coming off their first loss of the season a night earlier.
D’Angelo Russell led Golden State (1-4) with 30 points.
The game was an indication of the uphill battle facing Golden State without Curry, who underwent surgery after breaking his left hand Wednesday against Phoenix.
The Warriors, also without injured guard Klay Thompson for at least the first half of the season, hope they won’t be missing another star.
Green had his left index finger wrapped after the game and said he’s unsure if he’ll be able to play Saturday against Charlotte.
Russell couldn’t carry the Warriors alone, even with three teammates in double figures. Rookie Jordan Poole scored 20.
Warriors fans began filing out of the arena midway through the fourth quarter. Golden State is winless in three home games this season.
Russell scored 19 points in the first half and the Warriors were within two points at the break, 57-55.
The Spurs took control in the third period, scoring 40 points and taking a 97-86 lead. That included 12 points from Aldridge in the quarter and a 13-2 Spurs run.
Mills, who starred in college for Saint Mary’s in nearby Moraga, California, hit six of his nine 3-point attempts and finished three points shy of his career high of 34 points. That career-best game came against the Warriors on April 26, 2012.
“I mean, just (being in) attack mode mindset, being aggressive. I think that was more the key than anything,” Mills said. “You’ve got to be in that mindset.”
Spurs: Aldridge (eight rebounds) broke the 8,000-rebound mark and became the first NBA player to hit the 8,000-rebound and 18,000-point milestones since he was drafted in 2006. He’s scored 18,689 career points. . Forward DeMarre Carroll, a 10-year veteran who signed a two-year deal with San Antonio in the offseason, entered in the first quarter for his season debut. He finished with two points.
Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr stressed before the game that he would look to manage Draymond Green’s minutes to keep him fresh. Kerr also acknowledged the importance of the veteran’s leadership in light of numerous injuries. “Right now he’s kind of the lone survivor.”
The U.S. national women’s basketball team attended Friday’s game and received a standing ovation. Team USA is playing an exhibition at Stanford on Saturday.
What a crazy stat line for Spurs center Trey Lyles. He finished with zero points and 14 rebounds.
Warriors guard Damion Lee came off the bench to score 16 points. He scored a season-high 23 on Monday at New Orleans.
Spurs: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Warriors: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.