San Antonio pulls out all stops to beat Clippers in Game 2

Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills stand out in Game 2, letting Spurs return home with series even

The San Antonio Spurs viewed Game 2 as a desperation game, saying they didn't want to return home for the next two games in a hole.

San Antonio had to sprinkle in just about everything it had to dig out a 111-107 overtime victory over the Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

The Spurs took the home-court advantage away from the Clippers on the backs of Tim Duncan (28 points, 11 rebounds, four assists), Kawhi Leonard (23 points, nine rebounds) and Patty Mills (18 points off the bench).

Mills, who played much of the second half in place of the ineffective Tony Parker (left ankle and left thigh injuries), finished off the Clippers by making four consecutive free throws in the final 11 seconds of the game.

Mills had eight points in the overtime, Duncan four and Leonard two to put the Spurs up seven points.

After blowing a 10-point lead midway through the fourth and seeing the game go into OT after Mills made two free throws with 8.6 seconds left in the fourth and Chris Paul missed a shot just before the buzzer sounded, the Spurs return home for Game 3 on Friday night in San Antonio and Game 4 on Sunday afternoon.

"We know it's very hard to overcome an 0-2," Manu Ginobili said. "Last game, we were a little disappointed. "

Duncan 'iconic'

For 18 years, the ageless Duncan and the sometimes grumpy and sometimes illuminating Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich have been joined at the basketball hip.

So if anyone knows what Duncan has meant to the Spurs and the NBA, it would be Popovich. And he was willing to share his feelings on the player that helped the Spurs win five NBA championships.

"I think he's one of those iconic figures that all organizations hope that they can have to be part of their program for a long time," Popovich said. "His steadiness, his consistency, the class in which he operates, really makes everybody look good.

"And that includes the NBA. They know that. He affects a lot of lives in our community, on our team. He pays my bills — for a long time. So, he's beyond special."

Popovich took over as coach of the Spurs in 1996, replacing Bob Hill after San Antonio got off to a 3-15 start.

Again, Popovich credits his success to the 38-year-old Duncan.

"I was surprised the first day I was doing it," Popovich said. "I always felt like I don't really belong here, like an interloper of sorts.… This has just been like a 20-year run, which sounds kind of ridiculous. But that's where Tim Duncan comes in. So, yeah, I've been doing it a long time."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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