Manu Ginobili saves Spurs with gutsy block on James Harden

The Spurs now have a 3-2 edge in the series after Wednesday's overtime win, but it would be hardly shocking if the Rockets and their incredible offensive firepower stole the series by winning the next two games. He played half of the fourth quarter but did not take the court for overtime.

Popovich said Jonathan Simmons will start in place of Leonard.

Leonard's injury is another blow to a team already without Tony Parker, after the veteran suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in Game 2.

The Spurs just one win away from advancing in the NBA Playoffs but the Rockets hot on their tail.

Manu, at age 39, is the second-oldest player in the National Basketball Association (behind Vince Carter, 40, of the Memphis Grizzlies) Manu's been playing professional ball since 1995, joining the Andino Sport Club team in his native country of Argentina. The Spurs do not want to chance another shootout with the Rockets, especially with Leonard hurting. Or it was Mills throwing himself on the ground after a loose ball with 10 seconds left in the game.

Game 6 is Thursday in Houston and the victor of the series will take on the Golden State Warriors in the West finals.




"Yeah, I'm going to be able to play", he said. "For sure, it's going to be a tough battle over there", said Ginobili, who had 12 points and the game-saving block on James Harden.

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. "He did a good job, whether distributing or scoring -he was big for us", added Popovich, praising his team's defensive resilience after the loss of Leonard in a tense finale.

"We knew it was going to be a tough one", Ginobili said.

With Nene out, backup center minutes went to Ryan Anderson, as the Rockets went to a seven man rotation.

Ginobili, having an atrocious series in what is once again is projected to be one final run in the playoffs for the future hall of famer, woke up in game 5 to deliver a vintage performance. The Spurs need the underdog win tonight at 3.45, but either team that moves on to the Conference Finals will have a different kind of monster to face in the Golden State Warriors.

Leonard was walking without a noticeable limp after Tuesday's game, though he struggled to put weight on his ankle shortly after the injury. Houston has to have a victory in Game 6 to keep alive their hopes of reaching the conference finals for the second time in three years.

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