Spurs' Manu Ginobili recounts 'lucky' break to beat Clippers in Game 5

Spurs' Manu Ginobili recounts 'lucky' break to beat Clippers in Game 5
Guard Manu Ginobili is greeted by teammate Patty Mills during a timeout during the Spurs' Game 5 win over the Clippers at Staples Center. (Paul Buck / EPA)

Manu Ginobili stood with his back against a wall in San Antonio's locker room late Tuesday night in Los Angeles, the media forming a half-circle around him, as he talked about the Spurs' good fortunes in Game 5.

"We got a little lucky, I guess," Ginobili said.


The Spurs will take it, knowing that one last-second play helped change the outcome of the game. The Spurs' 111-107 win over the Clippers gave San Antonio a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.

The Spurs can close out the series with a victory in Game 6 on Thursday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio and continue their quest to win back-to-back NBA championships.

If the Spurs lose Thursday, the teams will return to Los Angeles for Game 7 at Staples Center on Saturday.

Ginobili could only shake his head when he described the play that saved the Spurs.

With the Clippers trailing by one point, Blake Griffin had gotten position down low and powered up for a layup, the ball tantalizingly dancing around the rim. Sensing the ball wasn't going in, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan put up his left hand and tipped the ball into the basket.

But it was waved off with 4.9 seconds left because of basket interference on Jordan.

"It was the play of the game," Ginobili said. "That's why I said we got lucky. The ball was going in and he happened to touch it. About five seconds to go and we could have been down one. We could have won it anyway. But it was a completely different ballgame. So, yeah, we got a little lucky on the play.

"That's what happens. The games are so well played and so close. It's a shot, a defensive rebound. Things like that happen. Today was in our favor."

This is the second time in this series the Spurs have snatched the home-court advantage away from the Clippers.

But after the Spurs won Game 2 in Los Angeles, and Game 3 at San Antonio in a blowout by 27 points to take a 2-1 lead in the series, the Spurs missed an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Clippers by losing Game 4 at home.

So the Spurs know the Clippers can win at AT&T Center.

"We have to come out with a lot of energy," Spurs forward Boris Diaw said. "We have to come out with a purpose and focus. What we did in Game 3, for example, and not what we did in the last [Game 4 loss] or the first game [loss]. It's been too many ups and downs and we are aware of that. But we have to come out strong and focused."