National Basketball Association roundup: Spurs win in OT after losing Leonard earlier

While the Golden State Warriors are enjoying their second week off during the postseason after sweeping the Utah Jazz in Round 2, the Spurs and Rockets are mired in a slugfest on the other side of the Western Conference bracket.

The Houston Rockets ran out of gas at a vital time during their second round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Mills' D on Eric Gordon late forced the pair into a jump ball scenario, which the Rocket won, but Manu Ginobili rejected Harden's attempted three at the buzzer that would have tied the scores.

Green had 16 points and five rebounds while Ginobili had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The record-setting Rockets have rolled when they've made their 3-pointers, hitting 22 in Game 1 and 19 more in Game 4. And in the end it was the Spurs who came out on top thanks to a vintage performance by the ageless (possibly immortal) Manu Ginobili.

Mills was starting in place of regular Spurs playmaker Tony Parker, who injured his knee in game two of the series against the Rockets. Danny Green, Patty Mills, and Manu Ginobili were the heroes of game 5, providing offense/defense when the Spurs needed it most.

Leonard initially said he wasn't sure if he was able to play, but obviously he got the all clear to say he could later on.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has had to rotate three big men at the five.

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But entering Thursday night's Game 6 in Houston there are questions about whether Kawhi Leonard will be at full strength after rolling his ankle in an overtime win on Tuesday night. Expect Houston to play as hard as it can in a potential elimination game for the Rockets.

"(Mills) is a little bit more unsafe, so you have to pay more attention to him.

The Spurs had a choice at the end of Game 5 in their National Basketball Association playoff series vs. the Rockets: Foul or defend.

Spurs at Rockets, Spurs lead series 3-2.

The San Antonio Spurs look to secure this series and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2013-14.

He made only four of 15 attempted three-pointers and crucially coughed up nine turnovers - including three in overtime. He is expected to play game 6. Popovich took Leonard out of the game for the defensive possession, and kept him out for the Spurs' final offensive possession with the game tied and 11 seconds on the clock. In a game where neither team held more than a three-point lead at the quarter break, you knew it would come right down to the wire. He had been using a resistance band to either test or loosen up the ankle on the bench, but he and the Spurs staff eventually decided it wasn't worth having Leonard on the court, even as a decoy.

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  • Regina Holmes


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