In a league where consistency is sometimes hard to come by, Patricio Garino has been able to stand out.
The Argentine guard scored 25 points — his third straight double-digit game — grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists, leading the Austin Spurs to a 106-97 win against the Reno Bighorns Thursday night.
“Every game I’m trying to bring everything and trying to work on my weaknesses,” Garino said. “Today I had too many turnovers, but I’m starting to feel more confident with the ball. I’m just trying to let everything come to me.”
Check Diallo, playing in his third game with the Spurs since being assigned from the New Orleans Pelicans, scored 15 points. Livio Jean-Charles had his first double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Jarell Eddie scored 14 points with rebounds and Demetri McCamey had 14 points off the bench.
“Guys are stepping up when the opportunity come their way,” head coach Ken McDonald said. “The guards were tired and that rotation isn’t set. But that’s part of the D-League, you have to be ready when your name is called.”
Garino found his groove early, going 3-of-5, including 2-for-2 from three point range, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. The Spurs went on a small 8-0 run midway through the period to get out to a 27-24 lead.
Diallo led the charge for Austin in the second quarter, scoring eight points with five rebounds. McCamey started the period with back-to-back triples and the Spurs went into the break with a seven-point lead.
Austin pushed its lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, but turnovers and poor shot selection allowed the Bighorns back into it. Reno tied the game twice in the third quarter and even took the lead briefly early in the fourth. Ryan Arcidiacono nailed a floater with just over two minutes to go to put the game on ice.
There were 41 fouls called in the game, including three technical fouls and the Spurs capitalized by going 23-31 from the free throw line.
“This was the most physical game by far,” McDonald said. “We knew they would come back and make adjustments. They had a good game plan. It got dicey down the stretch, but we were able to rebound down the stretch. They’re a big team and they threw their bodies around.”
Austin wraps up its four-game homestand to start the season Saturday night at 7 p.m. when the Erie Bayhawks come to town. The Spurs hit the road for games against the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Grand Rapids Drive before returning home to face the Greensboro Swarm on Dec. 2.
“I really appreciate that the team has that much confidence in me,” Garino said. “To get the ball more in my hands, that’s what I need is that experience. That’s something that I wasn’t used to in college. I’m ready for the opportunity.”