Patty Mills’ OT dagger buries LA and LeBron
AUSTRALIAN Patty Mills has hit a go-ahead jumper with 6.8 seconds left to give the San Antonio Spurs victory and keep the Los Angeles Lakers winless with LeBron James.
The Spurs prevailed 143-142.
James hit a tying three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation and finished with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds.
But the superstar missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play, and Mills coolly put the Spurs ahead.
Mills played 31 minutes and scored 12 points.
James missed a long shot at the buzzer, thoroughly deflating the Staples Center crowd.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 32 points and 14 assists as the Spurs made a tremendous rally to bounce back from a loss at Portland.
Kyle Kuzma had 37 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who played without suspended starters Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo. Josh Hart added 20 points and 10 rebounds.
James's dramatic three from a full step beyond the arc capped the Lakers' improbable rally from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:04 of regulation.
The Lakers then took a 142-136 lead late in overtime with a line-up matching James with three second-year pros and unsung rookie Johnathan Williams in his NBA debut.
But the Lakers sputtered and the Spurs rallied. Rudy Gay's three-pointer cut the Lakers' lead to 142-141, and James missed his free throws before the jumper by Mills
Ingram and Rondo began their suspensions stemming from their brawl with the Houston Rockets last Saturday.
Ingram got a four-game ban for confronting an official and throwing punches, while Rondo got three games for punching and spitting on Chris Paul.
Kuzma and Ball were in the starting line-up in their teammates' absence. Both second-year pros excelled.
The Spurs jumped on the Lakers early, hitting 14 of their first 17 shots and opening an 18-point lead. James missed six of his first eight shots, but regained his game along with the rest of the Lakers, who trailed only 99-96 entering the fourth quarter.