Manu Ginobili pulled off an astonishing last-gasp defensive block as the San Antonio Spurs dug deep to claim a 110-107 victory over the Houston Rockets in their NBA Western Conference play-off series on Tuesday.
The San Antonio Spurs are officially listing Kawhi Leonard as questionable for Game 6 against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. As a team, the Rockets shot 44 percent from the field and 16 of 48 from the three-point line, but in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime, the Rockets leaned heavily on Harden who had just four points with four turnovers.
Jonathon Simmons will draw the start in his place.More news: Australia plans major spending plus surplus in 3 years
Leonard's injury is another blow to a team already without Tony Parker, after the veteran suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in Game 2.
Failing to put Leonard on the court is a calculated gamble for the Spurs.
Tuesday, they won the first to-the-wire game of the series with a lineup they hadn't practiced in many late-game situations. As the game dragged on, the Spurs defense seemed to get better at cutting off his angles, and the Rockets' full-throttle offense found itself sputtering as a result.More news: Antonio Conte calls for 'one more small step' after Chelsea beat Middlesbrough
"I'm not sure if you saw the wrong foot right handed dunk, but that's one for the record books right there", Danny Green said after the game in relation to Ginobili's dunk. He had a chance at a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of OT, but was blocked from behind by Manu Ginobili.
The overtime period was ugly for both teams offensively, with the first bucket not coming until the two-minute mark.
Leonard injured his left ankle in Tuesday's Game 5 and hoped to be cleared to play in the possible close-out contest for the Spurs, who lead the series 3-2.More news: Haniyeh Elected Meshaal's Successor while Authority Siege Hamas Through Taxes
With Nene out, backup center minutes went to Ryan Anderson, as the Rockets went to a seven man rotation. The Rockets, who set an National Basketball Association record by making 1,081 3s in the regular season, have averaged 20.5 3-pointers in their two wins and just 13 in the three losses. The Rockets now trail 3-2 " We played well enough to win. The Rockets are 17-5 at home when facing elimination over the last 25 postseasons, the best record in the National Basketball Association in that span. The Spurs need the underdog win tonight at 3.45, but either team that moves on to the Conference Finals will have a different kind of monster to face in the Golden State Warriors. San Antonio, leading Houston by three, chose to defend. If Leonard's injury interferes with his play, the Rockets should force a deciding Game 7.