#LetBonnerShoot turned into #LetBonnerPlay.

A guy the Spurs had tried to go away from, came back. Matt Bonner, relegated to comedic relief this season, best known for indie groups and his Red Mamba nickname, found unfamiliar footing.

He made shots Wednesday, which is what he does best. But he mostly made Dwight Howard work when he didn’t make him mad.

Bonner called it, for those who would like to Google the phrase, “Chumbawamba defense.”

That’s Bonner. No Spur is as entertaining, whether he’s the fictional Coach B or just a man on the street with an opinion.

He’s at his best when he’s making fun of himself, and he did last fall when the Spurs were going through some drills with the local boxer, “Jesse” James Leija. Someone joked that all of this must be new to him, and he objected with a straight face.

“You don’t understand,” he said. “I grew up in the mean streets of Concord, New Hampshire.”

But he has never been much of a puncher, and his one undeniable skill — his 3-point range — has often disappeared in the playoffs. That’s why the Spurs have wanted to go away from Bonner for years. A few seasons ago, after another playoff disappointment, one coach on the Spurs staff was determined to.

But they kept coming back to him, because stretch forwards are hard to find. That’s why Bonner holds a distinctive status on the Spurs; only Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have been on the team longer.

Last season, when Boris Diaw arrived, the Spurs had another option. And Bonner averaged fewer minutes this season than any time in five years.

He managed to keep his enthusiasm, especially when the campaign to get him in the 3-point contest at the All-Star Game succeeded. He appreciated #LetBonnerShoot, and his moment on the stage meant a lot to him.

“I have nothing right now,” Bonner told the media after the contest in Houston. “My mind is still racing, heart is pounding.”