Here’s what happened on day 23 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs:
SAS 110 – HOU 107 (OT), Spurs lead series 3-2
Manu Ginobili and Danny Green came up clutch in overtime, to help the Spurs take a 3-2 series lead on the Rockets.
The tightly-fought contest saw 11 lead changes and six deadlocks in regulation. A triple by James Harden had the Rockets up five, 99-94, with 2:33 left, but Patty Mills answered with a three of his own. Then after Patrick Beverley stepped out of bounds, LaMarcus Aldridge scored off a hook to tie things up, 99-all.
Harden added two at the line to get Houston ahead anew, but it was negated by a nifty finger roll by Ginobili. Off a timeout, Jonathon Simmons drew an offensive foul on Harden, giving the Spurs a chance to win in regulation. Off a timeout, the ball went to Mills against Harden, but he was forced to pump-fake, and the shot, which went in, was ruled too late, with Spurs coach Popovich livid at Pau Gasol for either not setting a screen or not freeing up the lane.
Both teams struggled to score early on in OT, but Patrick Beverley and Ryan Anderson canned three-pointers for a 107-106 buffer, 47.6 seconds left. In response, Ginobili found Green, which led to the go-ahead an and-one play. After a missed three by Eric Gordon, Green was fouled, but only hit the second of two charities, leaving the door open for a potential second overtime period. San Antonio’s defense forced a jump ball in front of the Houston basket, with the ball making its way to Harden. Luckily for the Spurs though, Ginobili was there to block the attempt from behind, sealing the deal and the victory.
Making the feat more impressive was the fact that the Spurs won down the stretc without Kawhi Leonard. Leonard played just under six minutes in the fourth quarter and none in overtime, due to a sprained ankle. Despite that though, he finished with a team-best 22 points on 21 shots, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 14 rebounds, Patty Mills fired in 20 points, Danny Green notched 16, thanks in large part to a 4-of-8 effort from beyond the arc, and Manu Ginobili and Jonathon Simmons each scored 12 off the bench, with Ginobili also dishing out a team-best five assists.
The Rockets got a triple-double from James Harden: 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, but he turned it over nine times, and went scoreless in overtime, with three turnovers.
Patrick Beverley had 20 points, while Ryan Anderson notched 19 off the bench.