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Mills three-pointer gives Spurs NBA win

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016

There was no trick or secret to how Australian point guard Patty Mills got wide open for the winning shot in the NBA on Tuesday night (Wednesday AEDT).

"I have no clue, mate," he said. "I didn't do anything other than just stand there. It was a (heck) of a pass right in the shot pocket."

Mills hit a three-pointer with 12.9 seconds left to lift the San Antonio Spurs over the Houston Rockets 102-100. Eric Gordon missed a three-point attempt after that before Manu Ginobili missed two free throws to give Houston one last chance, but James Harden's three-point attempt bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

"The biggest thing that happened is that we had about three or four wide open shots we missed," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said.

The victory is San Antonio's fifth straight and improves the Spurs to 15-1 on the road. It also snaps Houston's NBA-best 10-game winning streak.

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 21 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points with 10 rebounds. Mills scored 13 points for the game.

Harden finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

"It's real tough, especially when we let two big leads slip away," Harden said. "We've got to close the game out. ... I didn't close the right way. We didn't close the right way as a team."

In Oakland, Stephen Curry scored as many points as Utah's starting five combined, yet it sure didn't look pretty early for the star-studded Warriors, who eventually found their groove in another lopsided result.

Curry scored 25 points with four three-pointers, Kevin Durant had 22 points and the Warriors whipped the Utah Jazz 104-74.

For Utah, Australian forward Joe Ingles scored three of their nine three-pointers as he contributed 11 points for the game. Dante Exum scored six points.

In Charlotte, Kemba Walker had 28 points and 10 assists as the Hornets rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 117-113.

Walker had 15 points in the third quarter and a key rebound with 27.9 seconds left in the fourth to set up a Nicolas Batum for the jumper which put the Hornets ahead with 13 seconds remaining.

Batum had 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting and added 10 assists, while Marco Belinelli scored 11 of his 13 points in the final quarter.

Jordan Clarkson paced the Lakers with 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting from long-range, the Lakers going 16 of 33 from deep only to lose for the 10th time in their past 11 games.

Elsewhere, Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 44 points, including 36 after halftime to lead the Boston Celtics past the Memphis Grizzlies 112-109 in overtime.

Overtime was also needed in Milwaukee, where LeBron James buried a go-ahead three-pointer with 24 seconds left in overtime and the Cleveland Cavaliers held on for a 114-108 victory over the Bucks.

Matthew Dellavedova scored eight points to go with five assists for Milwaukee. Fellow Australian Thon Maker didn't play for the Bucks.

In other games, New Orleans beat Philadelphia 108-93, Toronto beat Brooklyn 116-104, the New York Knicks finished with a 27-12 run to overcome Indiana 118-111, Sacramento beat Portland 126-121, Los Angeles Clippers beat Denver 119-102 and Orlando beat Miami 136-130

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