NEW YORK: Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw were electric-off the bench as the San Antonio Spurs routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-89 in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals yesterday to move one win away from a berth in the NBA Finals.
Ginobili scored 19 points, Diaw added 13 and veteran forward Tim Duncan contributed a team-high 22, along with 12 rebounds, as the Spurs made the most of home court advantage to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
All-Star point guard Tony Parker weighed in with 12 points while Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green tallied 14 points apiece as top-seeded San Antonio had six players in double-figures.
The Spurs, aiming for a return to the NBA Finals after losing to the Miami Heat in seven games last year, outshot their opponents by 51 percent to 43 from the field as they rebounded from their 105-92 Game Four loss in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
“Aggressiveness,” Ginobili told Turner Network Television in a courtside interview when asked what had been the biggest change for the Spurs.
“We played so much harder, sharper, smarter - everything we talked about. It was a fun-to-play and fun-to-watch game.”
San Antonio out-rebounded Oklahoma City 48-35, an especially satisfying result for Ginobili after the teams had been evenly matched in that statistic in Game Four.
“Today, with seven minutes to go, we were up 15 on the boards and we were close in Oklahoma City,” he smiled.REUTERS