SAN ANTONIO (AP) — 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.
“I know where his shot release is from,” Ginobili said. “I tried to bother him as much as I could. It was a risky play, but it was also risky to let him shoot.”
Aside from the block, Ginobili had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists off the bench in the win. He also had a surprising dunk that he described as “unexpected.”
“Manu reached back and gave us one of his Manu performances from past years,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He was a stud.”
Game 6 is Thursday in Houston.
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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.
“The competitiveness was off the charts,” Popovich said. “Either team could’ve won the game down the stretch.”
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.
“We let one slip away,” Harden said. “Execution, rebounding. Two primary things we let slip away.”
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.