Young stars lead Spurs to Game 5 win
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO – Manu Ginobili was in fifth gear again, dribbling to his sweet spot on the right wing and pulling up for the kind of nail-in-the-coffin 3-pointer that his wondrous career was built on.
Not brick by brick, of course, but make by make.
This one was good like all those others had been, the fourth-quarter clock reading 4:02 and his San Antonio Spurs taking an 18-point lead over the Golden State Warriors that was more than enough in their 109-91 win at the AT&T Center. Yet while the Spurs took a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, they did it despite the startling lack of moments like these that we’ve all grown so accustomed to.
Tim Duncan was mediocre – again – finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. So was Ginobili, who had hit just two shots leading up to his late-game deal-sealer. Tony Parker had 25 points and 10 assists, battling through his bruised left calf to offer quite a contribution. But they don’t call trios like these The Big One Third, and so it proved to be more true now than ever that these Spurs are about so much more than the guys who have been here since Kawhi Leonard was a toddler.
The 21-year-old who came San Antonio’s way in a draft-night trade two years ago was everything his elder co-workers were not, hitting seven of eight shots for 17 points while adding seven rebounds. Guard Danny Green didn’t wilt either, the 25-year-old scoring 17 points while helping hold Warriors guard Stephen Curry to a nine-point outing (4 of 14 shooting) that had everything to do with his ailing left ankle that has robbed him of so much speed and spark.
It was balance like that which kept the Warriors from heading home for Game 6 with all the momentum they craved, but the Harrison Barnes show wasn’t enough for them to win for just the second time here in the Duncan era (Game 2 of this series being the first). Barnes’ 25 points (10 of 18 shooting) were far more impressive than the 26 points he … [For more on Young stars bolster Spurs in Game 5 win over Warriors, click here.]