National Basketball Association
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       === 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
 much."
 
 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
 do so.
 
 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
 Ray Allen.
 
 "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
 efficient.
 
 "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
 moving pick.
 
 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.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 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