That's when Danny Green and the Spurs' supporting cast stepped up.
The San Antonio Spurs were without star forward Kawhi Leonard in crunch time of their Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets after Leonard rolled his ankle on a fluky play in the third quarter. But it was a frustrating night for Harden, who led the scoring for the Rockets with 33 points and a triple-double but was unable to provide his team with the breakthrough in overtime.
Harden had a chance to tie the game, but his 3-point try was blocked from behind by Ginobili. Winning at home without the small forward in crunch time was one thing, but defeating the Rockets on the road when Leonard might still be hampered won't be easy. "I felt better than the previous ones, for sure, but I guess the standards are a little lower". It seemed like he was being held or he was unaware if the ball was coming to him. Leonard finished the game with 22 points (8-of-21 shooting) and 14 rebounds.
Murray started the last two games after Tony Parker suffered a postseason-ending ruptured left quadriceps tendon in Game 2.
Game 5 hero Manu Ginobili, who replaced Leonard in the lineup down the stretch, is not thinking about playing Game 6 without their go-to guy. He then hit one-of-two free throws with seconds left to help the Spurs extend their lead to 3. He went on to play in a team-high 43 points, scoring 20 points.
"This is the most important game of the season for us", Mills said. When it wasn't Ginobili driving to the rim, it was Jonathon Simmons getting in front of Harden to draw a charge.
So far in the series against the Rockets, Leonard is averaging 23.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, while playing almost 36 minutes per night.
"I think we all made a decision to be aggressive", Green said of Leonard's absence, "regardless of what was going to happen".
But the defensive effort and facilitating Houston's offense appeared to take a toll on Harden. Harden, who finished with nine turnovers, said he was not tired despite playing 43 minutes.
London conference aims for stable Somalia under new chief
They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation's deepening humanitarian and security crisis. Save the Children chief Keven Watkins called for "decisive action" including increased help from the World Bank.
LINE HISTORY: The Rockets opened as 6.5-point home favorites for Game 6 and that number was bumped up slightly to -7 on Wednesday.
For Houston, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Lou Williams and Clint Capela combined to score 35 points in Game 5.
AFTER four games, the Eastern Conference semifinal matchup between the Celtics and Wizards is back where it began.
The game was close and very competitive in the first quarter.
By the fifth game in a series there typically aren't as many adjustments as there were earlier in the round.
San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills repays coach Gregg Popovich's faith with starring role against the Houston Rockets.
Leonard came back into the game with 2:59 remaining in the fourth, and assisted on Patty Mills' 3-pointer on his first offensive possession since returning.
"Instead of having to face him at, what, six minutes to go in the first quarter you have to face him to start with", D'Antoni said.
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