NBA Playoffs Preview: Spurs at Warriors Game 5

Spurs at Warriors Game 5 Preview

The San Antonio Spurs had too much pride to get swept on their homecourt by the Golden State Warriors for the second straight season and earned a 103-90 win in Game 4 on Sunday behind a vintage performance from Manu Ginobili. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer will try to get the Spurs back home with another win when they visit the Warriors for Game 5 of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday.

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San Antonio, which will be operating without head coach Gregg Popovich for the third straight game following the death of his wife, leaned on Ginobili down the stretch on Sunday and was rewarded with 16 points off the bench. “I cannot lie to you,” interim head coach Ettore Messina told reporters. “Even if it’s awful, because nobody would like to be in this situation for obvious reasons. At the same time, there is a little part of that that moves me to be there with Manu in these playoff games. Really, that’s something that pushes you to try to be the best possible helper for him and the team, and don’t mess up anything; just help him to have a great game.” Even Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who played with Ginobili in San Antonio in 2003, found a way to be happy for his former teammate. “I smiled when he made that corner 3 right in front of us at the end of the game,” Kerr told reporters. “It was just so typical Manu: (40) years old and 16 points and hits the clinching 3. He’s Manu. That’s what he does. I know he’s old because he was my teammate, and I’m old as dirt. So, if I played with him, he must be old.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Southwest (San Antonio), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio went 15-of-28 from 3-point range in Game 4, with Ginobili (3-of-5), point guard Dejounte Murray (3-of-4) and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (3-of-3) leading the way. “We’re not the best shooting team in the league, but we’re not that bad either to shoot 20 percent every game,” Ginobili told reporters. “(Sunday), we had a good night shooting. We’ll see if we can maintain that for next game. There’s not much you can do. You try to get the best shots possible, try to find the open teammate.” Aldridge finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win for his third straight double-double in the series.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson shot 63.3 percent from the floor and 65 percent from 3-point range while averaging 25.7 points in the first three games of the series but slumped to 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting in Game 4. The Warriors committed seven of their 18 turnovers in the first quarter, setting the tone for a sloppy performance. “You can’t turn the ball over seven times and spot them a 10- or 12-point lead and make them play at their pace,” Thompson told reporters. “Come Tuesday, we’re going to start better.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Ginobili and PG Tony Parker set an NBA record on Sunday with their 132nd playoff win as teammates.

2. Warriors SF Kevin Durant is averaging 29 points and 9.3 rebounds in the series.

3. Golden State PF Draymond Green is shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the series.

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