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OKC Thunder: Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili burns the Thunder in Game 5 win

On Thursday, Ginobili was the star. Needing only 21 minutes, he compiled 19 points, six assists and four rebounds. He hit seven of his nine shots. He hit three of his four threes. San Antonio outscored OKC by 15 points when he was on the court.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 30, 2014

Using a variety of high screens and crafty moves, Ginobili torched the Thunder’s trap-heavy pressure, splitting double-teams and carving out wide-open lanes.

“Every opportunity to drive, he’s going to challenge our feet and he’s going to drive around us,” Brooks said. “We’re going to have to make sure we’re into him and make sure we stop him from taking straight line drives to the basket. Easier said than done.”

At the end of the third quarter on Thursday, when the game was already out of hand, the Thunder bench had 13 points. Ginobili already had 19. San Antonio’s reserves had 40. The Spurs led by 20.

It was another dominant display of the difference of depth between these two teams, particularly since Brooks was forced to snatch Jackson away from that second-unit.

And it’s a disparity that starts with Ginobili, one of the NBA’s most legendary sixth men who is still doing his thing 12 years after entering the league.

“We have to defend him better,” Brooks said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s good...He’s ageless. He comes in with great energy. He plays hard. He plays winning basketball.”

And on Thursday, he might be the key reason San Antonio stretched its lead to 3-2 and is on the verge of another NBA Finals appearance.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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