Manu Ginobili’s play in the final 50 seconds was almost too much for Gregg Popovich to handle. Then again, the Spurs’ coach is used to his veteran guard’s free-wheeling style.
Ginobili’s 3-pointer from the wing with 1.2 seconds left in double overtime lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a thrilling 129-127 victory Monday night over the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry, who had 44 points in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.
The game-winning shot came 43.7 seconds after Ginobili took an ill-advised 3 that appeared to cost the Spurs the game.
”I went from wanting to trade him on the spot to wanting to cook breakfast for him tomorrow morning,” Popovich said. ”That’s the truth. When I talk to him and say, ‘Manu,’ he goes, ‘This is what I do.’ That’s what he’s going to tell me. I stopped coaching him a long time ago.”
Ginobili’s 3 capped an improbable comeback for the Spurs, who trailed by 16 points with 4 minutes left in regulation before going on an 18-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime…
Tony Parker scored 28 points to lead San Antonio while Danny Green added 22 points, Leonard had 18 and Ginobili 16.
Tim Duncan finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes. Duncan, who is battling a stomach bug, left the game with 3 minutes left in regulation and only played the final seconds of each overtime.
”He’s had the flu,” Popovich said. ”He’s been sick and he gave it a shot. It became pretty apparent there that he wasn’t going to tell me the truth anymore, so I had to pull the plug myself.”
Curry had 11 assists and was 18 for 35 from the field and 6 for 14 on 3-pointers for Golden State, which has lost 30 straight in San Antonio dating back to Feb. 14, 1997.
Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each added 19 points, Jarrett Jack had 15 and Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 15 rebounds.
– Reported by Raul Dominguez of the Associated Press