Manu Ginobili proved to be the savior of San Antonio on Tuesday night by spectacularly blocking a 3-point attempt by James Harden at the buzzer to lift the Spurs to a 110-107 overtime home victory against the Houston Rockets.

Manu Ginobili Blocks James Harden in Spurs’ Game 5 OT Win vs Rockets

Perhaps the most amazing part of Ginobili’s block is that the Argentine guard jumped from behind Harden to deny his Rockets counterpart as time expired. It’s quite a remarkable feat of athleticism from the fifteen-year Spurs veteran, who will be 40 in July.


These slo-motion shots from various closer camera angles more accurately demonstrate Ginobili’s defensive prowess:

Ginobili, who recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes of play, also scored several major baskets like this dunk with two minutes left in the first half that trimmed the Spurs’ deficit to 55-54.


There was also this layup with 34.5 seconds remaining in the game that tied it 101-101:

Danny Green added 16 points for the Spurs, including a three-pointer in the final second of the third quarter that drove the AT&T crowd wild. Green scored seven of his points in overtime, including a foul shot, a go-ahead 3-pointer and a three-point play conversion to put San Antonio ahead 109-107 with 30.1 seconds left.

Kawhi Leonard sat out for the Spurs, who lead the Western Conference Semifinals series 3-2, after injuring his ankle in the second half.

”It was frustrating because I wanted to play,” Leonard said. ”But I was happy seeing my teammates out there putting in a good effort and getting the win.”

Leonard finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes before leaving with an injured right ankle. He stepped on Harden’s foot while running back in transition with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter and sat out for the entirety of overtime.

The 25-year-old Spurs small forward and former first-round pick said he will play Game 6 in Houston on Thursday.

”I think we all made a decision to be aggressive,” Green said of Leonard’s absence, ”regardless of what was going to happen. We weren’t going to lose the game being on our heels.”

There was also this moment at the fourth-quarter buzzer, when Gregg Popovich shouted at Pau Gasol for failing to set a screen for point guard Patty Mills in the Spurs’ final play in regulation. San Antonio’s coach looked absolutely incensed at Gasol’s error, which prevented the Spurs from taking one last shot and forcing overtime with the game tied at 101.


The Spanish center later apologized.

“I think I made a wrong read,” Gasol said. ”It was tough because when they put a small on you, you have a tendency to go in. I saw a switch, but I should have stayed up because [Patrick] Beverley went with LaMarcus [Aldridge] and we could have played off that. I made a bad, bad read on that play.”

San Antonio was already missing Tony Parker, who is out for the remainder of the playoffs after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left quadriceps tendon.

Nevertheless, some of the Spurs seem to remain confident they will give their all for the rest of the postseason.

”I remember saying to a couple of the guys this is what we live for, these moments, to play in these situations,” Mills said. ”Game 5, at home, you just try to soak it up and play hard. I guess that’s where all the passion comes out, at those moments. The diving on loose balls, coming up with whatever it may be, you’re throwing your body on the line in those situations.”

Harden finished with 33 points, ten rebounds and 10 assists for the Rockets, who have not lost to the Spurs in three previous playoff series. Nene is out for Houston for the rest of the postseason after tearing his left adductor in Game 4.

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 09: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets takes a shot against Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the Western Conference Semi-Finals at AT&T Center on May 9, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

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