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Ginobili, Green Shine As Spurs Outlast Heat, Take 3-2 Series Lead

Matt Padavick |
June 16, 2013 | 11:36 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Manu Ginobili attacks the basket as the Spurs beat the Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. (757Live/Flickr Commons)
Manu Ginobili attacks the basket as the Spurs beat the Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. (757Live/Flickr Commons)
Manu Ginobili hadn’t started a game the entire regular season or postseason but when Gregg Popovich inserted him into the starting line up for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Ginobili made sure that his coach didn’t regret it.

The crowd was in a frenzy when the Argentinian veteran was announced last in the starting lineup before the game and he gave them a reason to continue cheering. After scoring just 30 points in the first four games combined, Manu put up 24 points. He looked like the 2007 NBA Champion version of himself as he slashed through the lane making off balance jumper after off balance jumper.  

The Spurs are now one game away from becoming NBA Champions once again. The original Big Three showed James, Wade, and Bosh that it takes a balanced effort from the entire team to win big games in the Finals. All five Spurs starters scored in double digits which propelled them to a 114-104 victory. Tim Duncan scored 17 points and grabbed 12 points while Tony Parker scored a team high 26 points. Ginobili dished out 10 assists with his 24 points and Kawhi Leonard contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. 

Once again, Danny Green was on fire. He scored 24 points, including six three-pointers (two of which he drilled in Allen’s face) which put him ahead of Ray Allen for most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series. He has 25 three’s through five games which is three more than Ray Allen had through six games. He is now shooting a remarkable 66% from three in the Finals.

As for the Heat, they looked lethargic at times, especially LeBron. On numerous plays he would walk back on defense after a missed shot or allow shooters to get open without contesting the shot. On offense, he settled for jumpers, especially in the second half. He looked to pass the ball more than attack which resulted in a loss for the Heat more times than not. Despite the lethargic play, he put up numbers like he always does. He finished the game with 25 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals. Dwyane Wade looked great in the first half but missed a lot of shots in the second half, including a few easy lay ups. He finished with 25 points and 10 assists. Chris Bosh scored 16 points and Ray Allen added 21 off the bench.

Danny Green surpassed Ray Allen's record for most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series. (Guilhermetadeu/Flickr Commons)
Danny Green surpassed Ray Allen's record for most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series. (Guilhermetadeu/Flickr Commons)
The majority of the first quarter was close until the Spurs went on an 11-2 run to close the quarter up 13. The Spurs went up 17 points in the second quarter which was followed by a 12-0 Heat run. The Spurs held a nine point lead at halftime. The game went back and forth in the third quarter as the Heat cut the lead to one point with three minutes remaining but that was as close as they would get. The Spurs went on a 12-1 run to end the third led by Ginobili and they never looked back. They took a 20 point lead in the fourth but after sloppy play the Heat were able to cut the lead to nine with two minutes remaining in the game. It looked like they were going to make a run to make it a close game but eight was as close as it would get. Wade missed a free throw that would have cut it to seven and Green drilled another three that put the game out of reach.

The Heat now face a must-win game on their home court on Tuesday. After a guarantee of not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six championships, the defending champs have their backs against the wall and face a second finals loss in three years. Not only would it be another loss, it could possibly lead to a break-up of the Big Three in Miami. The Spurs look to become NBA Champions for the fifth time in the last 15 years. Should be one for the books. The game tips at 6 PM PT (9 PM ET).


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