Rockets pushed to brink of playoff elimination after 110-107 Game 5 loss to Spurs in OT
HOUSTON – Danny Green scored seven of his 16 points in overtime, and the San Antonio Spurs overcame an injury to Kawhi Leonard to beat James Harden and the Houston Rockets 110-107 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their second-playoff series.
Leonard had 22 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes before exiting with an injured right ankle. Leonard stepped on Harden's foot with 5:37 left in the third quarter and then played limited minutes before sitting out overtime.
Harden had 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He had a chance at potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of OT, but was blocked from behind by Manu Ginobili.
Game 6 is Thursday in Houston.
Each team stalled at the start of the extra period. Patrick Beverley made a 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining for the first points of the period, giving Houston a 104-101 lead.
Green made a go-ahead 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to make it 109-107 Spurs with 30.1 seconds left. He also made a foul shot down the stretch to help San Antonio hold on.
Two questionable plays closed regulation with the game tied at 101.
Harden was whistled for a charge after dribbling all but a few seconds off the shot clock before driving to the basket on Jonathon Simmons. The Spurs failed to take a shot on their final possession, with Patty Mills banking in a 3-pointer after the buzzer sounded.
Harden also played solid defense, helping hold Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to 15-for-42 shooting as he rotated assignments in Houston's smaller lineup. But he finished with nine turnovers.
With the Rockets leading 82-81, officials ruled a ball out of bounds on the Spurs that replays showed was actually off Harden. Beverley drained a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, prompting San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich to scream and point at official Derrick Stafford.
The play ignited what had been a rather listless San Antonio, leading to a 10-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters for a 92-87 lead.
The Spurs tried to exploit a size advantage over the Rockets' small lineup early, especially when Harden was guarding either Aldridge and Pau Gasol. The Spurs' big men only managed 2-for-5 shooting in the opening three minutes, leading San Antonio to abandon the strategy midway through the first quarter and sub Simmons for Gasol.
Simmons responded by scoring 10 points on 5-for-13 shooting in 26 minutes.
Rockets: Houston has lost four straight best-of-seven series when it was tied 2-2. The last time the Rockets won a series after being tied 2-2 was in the 1995 Western Conference finals when they beat the Spurs. Nene is out for the remainder of the postseason after tearing his left adductor in Game 4. The team that led at the half had won every game in the series until Game 5.
Spurs: Ginobili has 313 3-pointers in his postseason career, which is third in league history behind Ray Allen (385) and Reggie Miller (320). Ginobili drove the lane for a one-handed dunk with 2 minutes left in the first half.