Australian basketballer Patty Mills continues to make a serious mark in the NBA – playing
himself into the record books and timely form ahead of the Boomers’ Olympic campaign.
Mills posted the highest single-game score by an Australian in the NBA with 34 points in the San Antonio Spurs’ 107-101 win over Golden State Warriors.
Mills surpassed Andrew Bogut’s 32-point haul against Bogut’s new club in the match in
Oakland, California on Friday (AEST).
And he continues to make the most of the mid-season NBA lifeline thrown to him a few weeks ago, stepping up as starters Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were rested ahead of the Spurs’ looming playoff campaign.
“I was very pumped to have this opportunity. I felt very comfortable to just slide in there and take it on with both hands,” Mills told The Associated Press.
It was Mills’ second successive breakout game – backing up from his impressive 27 points against Phoenix the previous night.
Mills had an explosive first half with 18 points.
Then as Golden State paid him closer attention, he turned playmaker – finishing with 12 assists for the match.
Mills is playing under Boomers head coach Brett Brown, who is an assistant at the Spurs, and Brown is thrilled with how his star guard is performing.
With Bogut out of the Olympic Games because of injury, point guard Mills is now set to be Australia’s go-to man in London.
“He took advantage of a unique opportunity where you get extended minutes and … he really did a great job of taking advantage of the situation,” Brown said.
“To be able to put back-to-back games (together) as he did against young guys and athletes is a real credit to him and the Spurs structure.
“He’s really done a fantastic job of fitting in with the team on all levels from a playing perspective, to being a great teammate.
“He’s been a real positive addition to the program.”
Mills is likely to find himself back on the bench when the Spurs play game one of their NBA playoff series against Utah Jazz on Monday.
The Spurs are chasing a fifth NBA title.
Should that happen, Mills would join Luc Longley (Chicago) and Andrew Gaze (San Antonio) as Australian NBA championship winners. Patty Mills scores 34 points in NBA match | The Roar