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Aussies in NBA: Mills Shines Against Exum and Ingles
Patty Mills' early season form shows no signs of slowing down.
Against the Utah Jazz he poured in 16 points and handed out 3 assists, while going 4/7 from downtown (box score). Mills' superb play helped the Spurs to a 100-86 win over fellow Australians Dante Exum, and Joe Ingles.
These two teams played each other just a few days ago, and on that occasion the Jazz claimed an impressive win. This time a more a determined looking Spurs outfit made sure the previous result would not be a repeated.
Starting in the place of injured veteran Tony Parker (right knee soreness) Mills committed just 1 turnover in a performance that would have impressed Coach Popovich.
Mills looked confident early, a clear indicator of this was when he pulled up in transition to nail a huge shot from beyond the arc.
This was the start of a 23-7 run for the Spurs.
At the first break they lead by 10, forcing the Jazz to play 'catch-up' for the rest of the game.
Mills continued to impress in the second half with 8 of his 16 points came in the third quarter and the Jazz struggling to find the Aussie sharpshooter in transition.
He wasn't the only Aussie who put themselves into the highlight reel in this contest. Both Exum (7pts, 7rebs & 3asts) and Ingles (7pts) came off the bench and provided some solid play. Jazz coach Quin Snyder giving them both over 20 minutes in the game.
Exum showed his touch around the ring on multiple occasions. This circus shot being the pick of the bunch.
While Ingles was as reliable as ever. He put points on the board, but his one assist for the game was arguably his best play. A slick bounce pass to set up a Rudy Gobert throw-down.
But it was Mills' day, once again performing when given a chance in the starting lineup. He looked after the ball, and performed well on both ends of the floor. His efforts will continue to amplify the calls for him to be a permanent starter.
Teammate Manu Ginobli believes that Mills' hot form won't slow down, explaining that, "With Kawhi and LA drawing so much attention, he's going to find his shot."
Let's hope for the Spurs, and all Aussie NBA fans, that the Argentinian is right.