The San Antonio Spurs are just one win away from knocking off the defending champion Miami Heat thanks to a 114-104 victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Spurs used a 21-2 second-half run to seize control of the game and the series.
Manu Ginobili started for the first time all season, and he delivered after struggling for much of the series. Ginobili finished with 24 points and 10 assists to spearhead a balanced Spurs attack that saw all five starters finish in double figures. Tony Parker led the way with 26 points on 10-of-14 from the field.
Danny Green continued his hot shooting, scoring 24 points and breaking Ray Allen's record for most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series in the process. Green finished the night 6-10 from beyond the arc, giving him 25 three-pointers in the series. That takes him well over Allen's mark of 22 and Green has at least one more game to extend his new record. Tim Duncan notched a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Kawhi Leonard chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds. San Antonio's offense was humming all night long, shooting 61.8 percent in the first half and 60.0 percent for the game.
LeBron James had 25 points for Miami, but he shot just 8-of-22 from the field. Dwyane Wade had 25 points and 10 assists, while Chris Bosh had 16 points and six rebounds. Allen added 21 points off the bench, with 15 of those coming in the fourth quarter as the Heat made one final rally.
The Spurs got off to a fast start, with a rejuvenated Ginobili scoring seven early points. The Heat weathered the storm momentarily, but San Antonio finished the first quarter on a 15-2 run to take a 32-19 lead to the second.
The Spurs appeared on the verge of blowing things wide open in the second quarter, as a flurry of Green threes pushed the lead out to as many as 17 points. The Heat responded with a 12-0 run to cut their deficit to five, but the Spurs took a nine-point lead into the break thanks to a slashing layup by Parker in the final seconds of the half.
Miami quickly got back into the game at the outset of the second half, taking advantage of some sloppy Spurs play to get to within two. Things were tight for much of the rest of the third quarter, but San Antonio finished the quarter with a flourish, taking an 87-75 lead into the final frame.
The Spurs kept the momentum going into the fourth before holding off the Heat's last-gasp rally. San Antonio now has two chances to win the title, with Game 6 coming on Tuesday.
The Big How Many?
The Big Three mostly did their part, with James, Wade and Bosh combining for 66 points, 19 assists and 16 rebounds. But James struggled with his shooting and the Heat defense had no answer for the Spurs' offense, so those contributions were all for naught.
Who turns the ball over?
The Spurs had some sloppy moments with the ball, and they finished with 19 turnovers on the night. Those turnovers led to 20 Miami points, but San Antonio's hot shooting made up for some of the carelessness with the ball. The Heat had 15 turnovers.
Will these teams keep hitting a bunch of threes, and does it matter?
Neither team had a clear advantage from deep, with the Heat actually making two more three-pointers. But it was Green's flurry of threes in the first half that helped give San Antonio its 17-point first-half lead, so those seemed to have a larger impact on the game.