With the series knotted at two, the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets came into a crucial Game 5 looking to take a 3-2 lead. The first four games of the series were all blowouts, but Game 5 was very close and intense, going into overtime and coming down to the wire.

Houston’s offensive game

The Rockets were in control for most of the game due to their offensive execution, playing a smaller lineup and moving the ball around effectively.

They ran a lot of pick-and-pop plays, tiring out San Antonio’s big man. James Harden was phenomenal in the first half, recording 23 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. However, the Spurs contained him in the third quarter, but the Rockets still maintained the lead.

Kawhi Leonard’s injury

Kawhi Leonard suffered a mild ankle sprain late in the game but returned to the floor after a timeout. Unfortunately, Leonard’s ankle wasn’t feeling too well, as he was sidelined the final 34 seconds of regulation and all of overtime. Thankfully, the injury didn’t look too serious, and the All-Star forward should be able to play in Game 6.

Late fourth quarter and overtime

With the Spurs down by five and 2:32 remaining on the clock, they ran a play to find Patty Mills for a tough three-point shot. After nailing the three, San Antonio got a huge stop, and LaMarcus Aldridge put in a crucial two-point shot to tie the game at 99. However, Harden drew a foul on the other end to give his team a two-point lead.

Manu Ginobili responded by making a pretty move to the basket, extending his left arm and finishing with an incredible layup over Clint Capela to knot the game at 101 apiece.

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In the ensuing possession, Houston ran an awful isolation play for Harden, which ended up in a miss. The Spurs secured the ball with 11 seconds remaining and the game still tied. However, the Spurs responded with a poor possession of their own, as Mills ran the clock down and took a poor shot that actually went in but after the buzzer had sounded.

In overtime, both teams struggled to find offense, going three minutes without a field goal until Patrick Beverley drained a corner three.

The Spurs answered back with two Jonathon Simmons free throws and a Danny Green long three-pointer. The Rockets didn’t waste any time responding with a three of their own, which was then again answered by an and-one play by Green, who gave the Spurs a two-point lead with 30 seconds left.

The Rockets drew up a play that freed up Eric Gordon for a three, but he missed the shot, Green corralled the rebound and was fouled.

He went 1-of-2 from the line, as it still remained a one-possession game.

The Rockets used a timeout to advance the ball and inbounded to Gordon, who momentarily lost the ball off his foot but was able to recover only to be forced to a jump ball with Mills. Gordon won the tap and the ball went into the hands of Ryan Anderson who quickly found Harden around the perimeter. Harden took one dribble and pulled up for a three, but Ginobili saved the day with a clean block from behind as the horn sounded.

The Spurs won a nail biter, 110-107, to take a 3-2 series lead.

Despite notching a triple-double with 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, Harden wrecked his team’s chances of winning by turning the ball over nine times, three during the overtime period. Beverley added 20 points, including five three-pointers, and Anderson provided 19 points off the bench. With Nene injured, the Rockets used a seven-man rotation.

For the Spurs, Leonard led the way with 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Although he injured his ankle late in the game, he is very likely to play in Game 6. Mills, who was inserted into the starting lineup, put up 20 points and four assists in 43 minutes. Meanwhile, Aldridge notched a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. Ginobili was huge off the bench, contributing 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one block, the game-winning block.

The Spurs will look to close out the series in Game 6 on Thursday in Houston. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8 pm Eastern Time.

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