San Antonio Spurs: Manu Ginobili saves game 5 against Houston Rockets

During a session with the media before Thursday's Western Conference Game 6, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ruled Leonard out for the evening's tilt against the Houston Rockets.

Leonard, who is the Spurs' best player, had 22 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes before exiting with an injured right ankle.

Despite this Western Conference semifinal having featured the losses of respected veterans Tony Parker and Nene to season-ending injuries, the Houston Rockets' postgame locker room late Tuesday night might have been the scene of the most lamenting and greatest remorse displayed by the combatants. What the Spurs do have is a team that plays together incredibly well on both sides of the court.

They had the Spurs behind by nine points in the third quarter, with Leonard hobbling and Popovich searching, and couldn't close the deal.

On Wednesday, the Spurs officially listed him as questionable for the game.

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Or Houston could use 6-8 athletic power forward Montrezl Harrell , who has played only sparingly in the postseason, to fill in. Harden shared the same sentiment and called on other big guys to step up with the untimely sidelining of the Brazilian center.

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He then made 1-of-2 free throws after an Eric Gordon miss to give the Spurs their 110-107 lead going into the final possession. With Leonard on the bench, Green stepped up and, with the help of three Harden turnovers, scored the final seven Spurs points before Ginobili's block clinched the victory. When facing elimination at home in the last 25 postseasons, they are 17-5 - no team in the National Basketball Association has a better record in the situation. "We knew it was going to be a tough one".

But it was a frustrating night for Harden, who led the scoring for the Rockets with 33 points and a triple-double (he also had 10 rebounds and 10 assists) but was unable to provide his team with the breakthrough in overtime.

Houston looked to have edged clear when Ryan Anderson's three-pointer put them ahead with 47.6 seconds on the clock.

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.

Because of Leonard's status, the Rockets are seven-point favorites in Game 6, via OddsShark (214 over/under). His performance was even more spectacular because earlier in the game, the Spurs lost their best player, Kawhi Leonard, 25, to an ankle injury. 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. The victor of Game 5 in the 196 times the series was tied won the series 82.7 percent of the time, according to information provided to the National Basketball Association by Elias.

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