=== Ginobili rises to the occasion, Spurs take 3-2 series lead ===
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili shook off a forgettable
start to the NBA Finals and put in a vintage performance in Game 5 while
leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 114-104 victory over the Miami Heat.
Ginobili, inserted into the starting lineup for the first time all season,
totaled 24 points and 10 assists and has the Spurs one win away from their
fifth championship since 1999.
"I needed to make a couple shots," said Ginobili, who had averaged just 7.5
points in the first four Finals games. "I felt like I wasn't helping the team
All five starters scored in double figures for the Spurs, who never trailed
and ran the Heat out of AT&T Center with a high-paced style and a 60 percent
shooting effort to take a 3-2 series lead.
Danny Green continued to shoot the lights out, as the up-and-coming gunner
poured in 24 points and hit six more 3-pointers to set a Finals record with 25
already through the first five games.
"I can't believe he's still open at this moment of this series," Spurs point
guard Tony Parker said of Green. "They are still trapping me and doubling
Timmy (Duncan), and Danny is wide open. He's shooting the ball well. If you
are going to leave Danny wide open, he's going to make threes."
Parker shook off a hamstring injury and put up 26 points, while Tim Duncan
added a typical 17-point, 12-rebound showing.
Kawhi Leonard chipped in 16 points and eight boards and did another terrific
job guarding league MVP LeBron James, who had 25 points but needed 22 shots to
Dwyane Wade checked in with 25 points and 10 assists, and Chris Bosh logged
16 points for the Heat, who got little production from role players not named
"Offensively we weren't very good tonight," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra
said. "There were times when we crawled back into it, but we were not very
"They absolutely outplayed us."
The defending champions host Game 6 on Tuesday with the knowledge they have
not lost back-to-back games since January.
Like the previous three meetings, the game was close in the first half before
turning into a laugher in the blink of an eye.
Miami pulled the trick in Game 4 en route to a 16-point victory, and the Spurs
turned the table Sunday by answering every Heat run with one of their own.
Seven straight Miami points cut its deficit to 75-74 with three minutes left
in the third quarter before Green drilled a 26-footer with Wade and Shane
Battier in his face to spark a quarter-ending 12-1 spurt.
Ginobili was the storybook catalyst in perhaps his final game at AT&T Center
with retirement somewhere on the horizon. He followed Green's triple with a
baseline leaner while being fouled, then contorted his body for a one-handed
floater going down the right side of the line for an unorthodox bucket.
After feeding Tiago Splitter inside for a reverse layup, Ginobili fittingly
finished the frame by banking in a right-handed drive for a healthy 87-75
Spurs lead heading to the fourth.
San Antonio scored nine of the first 10 points in the final stanza to go ahead
by 20, and a late Miami run made the final score closer than it appeared.
Allen scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth and had the Heat within 109-98
with under three minutes to go with a 3-pointer. He made another from long
range the next time down, but it was waived off when James was whistled for a
A layup by Allen and a free throw from Wade made it a 109-101 affair, but a
Parker scoop and another Green three sealed the Spurs' much-needed win.
"We felt like we could steal it, but they continued to make shots," Wade said.
Ginobili nearly topped his Finals average in the first five minutes with a
deep jumper, two free throws and a 3-pointer that gave the Spurs a 15-10 lead.
James tied things at 17-17 with a 3-pointer, but the Heat missed their next
seven shots during San Antonio's momentum-swinging 12-0 run, which was capped
by a dunk from Leonard off a nice bounce pass by Boris Diaw.
Leonard's triple in the closing seconds finished off the Spurs' efficient 12-
of-19 shooting effort in the opening period and gave them a 32-19 cushion.
Green connected three times from behind the arc in a two-minute span to extend
San Antonio's lead to 45-28, but the Heat climbed back in it with a quick-
hitting 14-2 flurry.
Allen's four-point play highlighted the push, but the Spurs held off the
surge and went into the break up 61-52 thanks to Parker's coast-to-coast take
to the rim.
The Spurs did not lose consecutive home games all season ... The Spurs won
despite committing 19 turnovers. They have 68 giveaways in the last four games
after tying a Finals record with four in the series opener ... Green has shot
an improbable 25-of-38 (66 percent) from the perimeter this series ... The
Heat allowed triple digits just once during the Eastern Conference playoffs
but have done so twice already this series ... Allen previously held the
Finals record of 22 3-pointers while with the Celtics in 2008 ... Heat point
guard Mario Chalmers shot 2-of-10 from the floor for seven points, while Mike
Miller went scoreless for the second straight game in Miami's starting lineup.
06/16 23:49:47 ET