Manu Ginobili missed a good portion of April with a hamstring injury, and the San Antonio Spurs' guard has not looked like himself for much of the postseason. Ginobili delivered a vintage performance for much of Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors, but it would not be enough as he and the Spurs faded late in a 97-87 overtime loss.
Ginobili entered play on Sunday shooting 4-of-24 from beyond the arc in the series, but he made his first four from deep to help San Antonio run out to a ten-point lead. Ginobili also played excellent defense on Klay Thompson in the first half, limiting the Warriors' shooting guard to four points on seven shots.
Ginobili did slow down in the second half as fatigue set in, and he missed a potential game-winning three late in the fourth quarter. Once overtime hit it was pretty much a wrap, as the veteran airballed a three and missed a layup.
Still, Ginobili played great for most of the game, and SB Nation's Spurs blog Pounding The Rock lamented the fact that he did not get enough support:
Manu was scorching hot to start and finished with 21 points on 5-10 from beyond the arc. He also hustled for boards and got three steals and two blocks. It was a great game from Manu but unfortunately it wasn't enough. It's pretty obvious by now that the Spurs need contributions from more than just a couple of players.
The Spurs' starters shot a combined 34.3 percent from the field, and the team went just 14-of-25 from the stripe. The free throws were especially a killer, as San Antonio shot nearly 80 percent from the line on the season. In an overtime loss, shooting that poorly from the free-throw line is tough to swallow. Ginobili did contribute to those woes, going 0-of-2 from the line.
Despite the shooting struggles, San Antonio still had control of the game with just under five minutes to go. The normally efficient Spurs simply could not execute down the stretch, while Jarrett Jack hit big shot after big shot to help get the game to overtime.
This loss was a heartbreaker for the Spurs, but they still have home court in the series, and Pounding The Rock is not pressing the panic button just yet:
Before panicking, remember the Spurs proved they could win at Oracle and only need to win their two home games to advance. This loss is a gut punch but I'm confident the Spurs will come back from it stronger.
Game 5 is on Tuesday back in San Antonio.