Mills, Simmons fall short
AUSTRALIA’S Patty Mills scored 21 points but it was not enough as the San Antonio Spurs fell again to the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors won 116-101 in Oakland yesterday to take a 2-0 lead in the best- of-seven playoff series with Kevin Dur- ant leading the way with 32 points. Game three will be in San Antonio tomorrow and game four on Monday.
Mills’ 21 points was a personal playoff record and a return to form after the struggles he suffered in game one on Sunday. He was again given the difficult defensive task to guard the taller Klay Thompson, who had 31 points including connecting on five of his eight three-point attempts.
LaMarcus Aldridge was the best for the Spurs with 34 points and 12 rebounds.
In Philadelphia Ben Simmons and his high-flying 76ers crashed back to earth with a 113-103 loss to the Miami Heat in game two of their playoff series.
The 76ers entered Monday’s game in Philadelphia on a 17-game win streak and appeared set to rally from a 16point fourth quarter deficit to win. With Simmons pushing the ball and the 76ers’ shooters starting to hit their mark they cut the deficit to two with four minutes to go, but it was Heat veteran Dwyane Wade who came off the bench, steadied the Heat and hit clutch baskets.
The Heat’s victory levels the best-of-seven series 1-1.
Simmons flirted with another triple-double with 24 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. The 36-year-old Wade top-scored with 28 points.
The Heat game plan was to be more aggressive compared to their lopsided loss in game one on Sunday, with special attention and a rotation of players, including Wade guarding Simmons.
Wade was impressed with the 21-year-old from Melbourne.
“That kid is not even a kid,” Wade said. “He’s a basketball player, man. He’s great.
“He does so many different things for his team.”
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said the Heat’s aggression was the deciding factor, particularly by pressuring Simmons when he brought the ball up the court.
“I thought the physicality of the game, I give them credit,” Brown said. “They were bending us backwards.”