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(Sunday, June 16th)
Final Score: San Antonio 114, Miami 104
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.
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 23:49:11 ET