Leonard, bench led by Ginobili lift Spurs over Grizzlies for 3-2 series lead

Spurs beat Grizzlies 116-103

Photo does not have a caption

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The San Antonio Spurs did what they had to do against the Memphis Grizzlies, win 116-103.

So now it is down to one: the San Antonio Spurs are just one win away from heading to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

It was a hard fought battle and unlike game four in Memphis, Kawhi Leonard got plenty of help from his teammates to take down the Grizzlies.

But the biggest lift came from Manu Ginobili. He finally got off the schnide with 10 points off the bench after going 0-15 in the first four games. He provided the points, but also some emotion for his teammates.

"Oh yeah, it was quit a relief, been a while, it felt great," Ginobili said. "Helped me play more confidently the rest of the game."

Patty Mills said Ginobili brought the 'grandpa juice'.

Memphis Coach David Fizdale said he was tired of seeing Manu and he could "go back to Argentina."

"Tired of me? How can he be tired of me, tired of me? He should be tired of Kawhi," Ginobili said. 

"You know he's got a huge heart, he has a huge effect on our team when he's healthy and having a good night starting out the way he did was really a big boost," said Gregg Popovich.

San Antonio got the usual incredible game from Leonard who finished with 28 points. There were six Spurs in double figures.

Tony Parker scored 16 and dished out six assists, LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 and David Lee scored 11 and grabbed 8 rebounds.

The bench also came through in a big way, they scored 46 points lead by Patty Mills who knocked down five three-pointers, four in the fourth quarter alone and finished with a career high 20 points.

The final score didn't reflect it but there were a few nailing biting moments. The Spurs got had an 18 point lead late in the third, but the Grizzlies went on a 17-3 run and cut that lead down to four.

San Antonio was able to stop the run and then turn it around with a 13-0 run of their own to put it away.

The series heads back to Memphis for Game Six Thursday.

Mike Conley, who scored 26 points total, 21 in the second half, said he has plans to return.

"We expect to come back here. Thats our mindset, so we've got to do whatever it takes to get Game 6 at home," said Conley.

The Spurs experience tells them a close out game is the toughest. "It's going to be rough, it's going to be rowdy in there, it's going to be loud," Ginobili said.

About the Author: