CHARLOTTE - Patty Mills scored 18 of his season-high 32 points in the fourth quarter and Tim Duncan had a double-double to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-100 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night for their fourth win in five games.
Mills was 10 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 5 in the fourth quarter. He also connected on 8 of 9 foul shots and had four 3-pointers to help the Spurs defeat the Bobcats for the sixth straight time.
Duncan finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season.
The Spurs trailed by one entering the fourth quarter when Mills took over, knocking down jumpers and floaters in the lane to push the lead to nine.
The red-hot Al Jefferson led the way for the Bobcats with 26 points and nine rebounds. Gerald Henderson had 23 points.
The crucial play came with the Spurs leading 99-95 with 26 seconds left when Josh McRoberts stole the ball from Duncan at the top of the key. But an overanxious McRoberts, looking ahead to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a fast break, threw the ball away.
Charlotte got the lead down to 102-100 when Henderson knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner after corralling an offensive rebound with 3.1 seconds left, but Nando De Colo sealed the victory with two free throws.
San Antonio came in having won their last three games against the Bobcats by an average of 28 points.
In this one, the Spurs never led by more than four points in the first three quarters.
The Bobcats jumped out an 18-6 lead behind Jefferson, who was active in the low post on both sides of the ball with 10 points and three steals in the first quarter.
The Spurs countered by moving the more physical Boris Diaw to bang in the low block with Jefferson instead of Duncan. Diaw turned out to be the best option for coach Gregg Popovich, particularly with center Tiago Splitter sitting out with a calf contusion.
That helped slow Jefferson and the Bobcats. Jefferson was limited to four points the rest of the half with the Bobcats missing 22 of their last 31 shots before the break.
Mills had four 3-pointers in the first half to put the Spurs ahead briefly in the second quarter, although the Bobcats took a 42-41 lead into the locker room.
NOTES: Along with Splitter, the Spurs were without Marco Belinelli (back spasms), Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili. ... Jefferson had scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games. Charlotte fell to 13-6 in games when Jefferson scores 22 points or more. They are 4-19 when he doesn't.
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