LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills helped San Antonio overcame a 16-point deficit, but the Spurs couldn’t complete the rally.
Nobody said it would be an easy game. One night after a win against the Knicks in New York, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich elected to rest three starters, Tony Parker, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard, as well as Manu Ginobili against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rudy Gay also sat as he continues to recover from bursitis in his right heel. It was going to take a monumental effort from LaMarcus Aldridge and a cast of role players to pull this one off, but the Spurs failed to cap off their fourth-quarter rally, falling to the Sixers 112-106.
With Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, and Kyle Anderson starting, San Antonio quickly fell behind 19-10 and seemed to have a hard time finding their footing on offense. The first round of substitutions brought in Davis Bertans and Patty Mills, who quickly reversed the trend and tied the game at 20-20. Unfortunately, the Spurs quickly gave up the lead again, and the deficit ballooned to 16 as the Silver and Black struggled with turnovers and fouls. Despite these issues, San Antonio scored 27 in the quarter, and trailed by only 11 at the half.
The tide seemed to shift in the third quarter – behind Mills’ hot shooting and a good effort by Aldridge, Forbes, and Joffrey Lauvergne, San Antonio went on an 18-7 run to cut the deficit to two points at 82-84.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 4, 2018
The rally continued in the fourth as Aldridge and Mills hit shot after shot, and they tied the game at 101-101.
Despite the valiant effort, the Spurs couldn’t contain the Sixers in the final two minutes. Several fouls and turnovers gave the Sixers the lead, and a dagger jump shot from JJ Redick would prove to be the nail in the coffin.
Mills and Aldridge led the Spurs with 26 and 24 points, respectively, and Kyle Anderson added 14 points and 7 rebounds on 7-8 shooting. For the Sixers, Ben Simmons scored 26 points, JJ Redick scored 20, and Joel Embiid notched a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. The loss drops the Spurs to 26-13 on the season.
The Spurs will look to rebound Friday at home against the Phoenix Suns. Gametime is 7:30 CST.