SAN ANTONIO, May 2 (Ticker) --Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan could not
wait to get back home and get back at the Sacramento Kings.
Ginobili scored 27 points and Duncan added 24 as the San Antonio
Spurs posted a 109-98 triumph over the Kings to take a three
games to two lead in their Western Conference playoff series.
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After averaging just 88.5 points in losing two straight games at
Sacramento, the Spurs shot 57 percent (39-of-68) from the floor
and had a 40-30 rebounding edge. San Antonio has a three games
to two series lead and can eliminate the Kings with a road win
in Game 6 on Friday.
"Both teams were fantastic," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
"It was a really good win against a very, very good basketball
team. We played very, very well. That's the bottom line. We both
played well. There were a couple of stretches that were not
that great, but it's a 48-minute game and that happens."
Ginobili was out for some personal redemption after scoring
eight points in Game 3 and just three in Game 4. He made
9-of-14 shots on Tuesday, hit all eight free throws and grabbed
"I played more aggressively tonight with more pace and that was
helpful to our effort," Ginobili said. "We moved the ball very
well and attacked the basket very hard. It was similar to Game
1, but we finished at the rim. They are playing great
basketball and we really have to respect them going into the
The game was tied, 93-93, when Duncan and Bruce Bowen hit
consecutive layups for the Spurs. After Bonzi Wells answered
with a layup for the Kings with 1:47 to go, Tony Parker set up
Ginobili, who scored inside for a 99-95 lead 17 seconds later.
"It was a back and forth game out there," Parker said. "They hit
some big shots and we were able to answer back. We had to stay
aggressive out there tonight."
Wells made 1-of-2 free throws before Duncan hit a short jumper
in the lane over Brad Miller with 60 seconds remaining, giving
San Antonio a 101-96 advantage. Michael Finley and Ginobili
combined to make 8-of-8 from the foul line down the stretch to
close out the Kings.
"My mindset was to get Manu, Tim and Tony the ball down the
stretch of the game tonight," Finley said. "Even when Tim would
kick it out to me, I wanted to get it back down inside to him."
"I'm glad we got this one," Ginobili said. "I calmed down a
little bit tonight. I was too frustrated in Game Four because of
what happened in Game Three. Tonight, I forgot everything and I
let the game come to me and that made it easier."
Parker scored 21 points, Bowen had 16 and Finley 10 for the
Spurs, who have won all three home games in the series after
posting a 34-7 record here during the regular season.
Wells made 13-of-20 shots, scored 38 points and grabbed 12
rebounds and Ron Artest added 24 points for the Kings, who were
10-of-22 from the arc.
"This is a tough one to lose," Wells said. "Game 5s are
pretty pivotal. Percentages say the team that wins Game 5
normally wins the series. We are just going to try and change
those percentages. They did such a good job of spreading us out
and getting the ball into Parker and Ginobili's hands. They are
just so well-coached. They make so many adjustments both on
offense and defense."
After Wells hit a pair of jumpers to give Sacramento a 54-51
lead with 8:11 left in the third period, the Spurs took control
with a 22-7 run. Ginobili and Duncan hit two baskets each and
Bowen, Finley and Brent Barry hit 3-pointers during the burst.
The Spurs widened the bulge to 83-69 when Ginobili hit another
3-pointer 38 seconds into the final stanza before the Kings
began to chip away.
Artest scored 10 points, including two buckets from the arc,
Mike Bibby sank a 3-pointer and assisted on a dunk by Kevin Martin,
and Wells buried a 25-footer to tie the game, 91-91, with 3:35
"In the second half, we didn't stop them," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "I have to give my guys credit. We had the chance
to put it away. When it was tied with three minutes to go in the
game, we didn't do what you have to do to win a game like this.
We were impatient and we forced the issue and it cost us the
"We just kind of rushed some things and gave them way too many
layups down the stretch," Bibby said. " We just got no stops
late and gave up too many easy baskets."