Patty Mills was one of the Nets‘ many offseason acquisitions, as the veteran guard signed a two-year deal after spending the last ten seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He had been averaging just 9.0 points per game in 24.5 minutes off the bench through 13 games this season.
Mills had a breakout game with the Nets on Sunday night in Oklahoma City, scoring 29 points in 31 minutes off the bench. He set a Nets franchise-record for made three-pointers off the bench with nine, which also gave him a new single-game career-high.
“On the offensive end, I think we’re starting to get a feel as games goes on, as we get game reps,” Mills said. “What everyone’s like, we keep talking about this is a new team, and everyone is finding their spots. I think just being able to ping it around and shoot open shots is the ideal way.”
The 13-year NBA veteran had scored in double-digits in only five games this season, including two 21-point games. He said that he listened to some simple advice from a close friend, and it worked out pretty well in the Nets’ 120-96 win.
“Like I said, when you get the chance to shoot open shots that’s always better,” Mills said. “I think tonight was one of those things where we played to how the defense was playing, and we were able to get the ball to touch the paint and then kick out which led to open shots.
“For me the mindset, I always think about one of my closest friends that doesn’t know a lot about basketball, but he always keeps it simple and says, ‘just put the ball in the basket’. So that’s what I remembered before the game tonight, and it’s amazing because it’s as simple as that sometimes.”
Mills said he didn’t even realize that he set a franchise-record until he came out of the game and LaMarcus Aldridge let him know. The all-time record for threes in a game by a Nets player belongs to Deron Williams with 11 in 2013, and Mills’ previous career-high was eight made threes last season against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Durant led the Nets with 33 points in the win and spoke about Mills being a much-needed spark off the bench for the Nets. He credited Mills’ work ethic and knew he was going to have a big game sometime soon.
“Man it’s everything to us,” Durant said. “Patty had missed a few shots the last couple of games, so we knew he was due for a big night. His work ethic is top of the line. It was a matter of time before he started knocking some of those down, and tonight he got it going. That’s what we need, we’re going to need guys to be aggressive to score the basketball and make plays. Our second unit did a solid job.”
Source: Yahoo Sports