Basketball

Ginobili stops Rockets with last-gasp block

WESTERN CONFERENCE 
SEMI-FINAL, GAME FIVE
SAN ANTONIO SPURS1 HOUSTON ROCKETS
110 107

(OT)
  • San Antonio lead 
best-of-seven series 3-2

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 Game Five of their Western Conference semi-final series yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Kawhi Leonard, who limped off late in the game with an ankle injury, led San Antonio with 22 points as the Spurs took a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series.

But it was Ginobili's heroics in overtime - athletically denying James Harden as the Rockets star shaped for a game-tying three-pointer - that stole the show at San Antonio's AT&T Center.

It was a superb clutch defensive play from the 39-year-old Argentinian, which gives the Spurs a precious lead as the series heads to Houston for Game Six tomorrow morning.

"Manu reached back and gave us one of his Manu performances from past years. He was a stud," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"We went to him with Kawhi off the court and asked him to make some things happen, generate some offence. He did a good job, whether distributing or scoring - he was big for us.

"Everybody pulled together and played some good defence, especially without Kawhi being out there. The competitiveness was just off the charts.

"We're obviously thrilled with the victory. We would have really been in a hole.

"Either team could have won the game down the stretch." - AFP

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