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Thunder-Spurs: Only one thing is certain — Manu Ginobili missed the shot

Details on how Thunder defended Ginobili are fuzzy. But a potential game-tying 3-pointer clanked off the rim, and the Thunder gained possession with 3.3 seconds left in the game.
By John Rohde Published: June 5, 2012

/articleid/3681614/1/pictures/1738386">Photo - Oklahoma City's James Harden (13) is fouled by San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (20) during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA basketball playoffs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Monday, June 4, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's James Harden (13) is fouled by San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (20) during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA basketball playoffs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Monday, June 4, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“I think there was two guys guarding him at the time,” Russell Westbrook said. “He took a tough 3. I think we did that and did a good job of that. He missed his shot, but I'm going to continue to say the same thing: I think our mental toughness throughout the whole game was so great in regards to what happened. I think we was always bouncing back.”

Brooks also took a crack at it: “I thought our guys did a great job of switching. That's what you want. Great players make incredible shots, and we knew that. We know that they have a few great players on that team that can make that shot. So we just wanted to make sure that we contest every shot that they will take.

“I thought the play before that, we gave Manu too quick of a two (with 22.9 seconds left) and we were up five. I thought we could have done a better job there. But I thought the next possession we did, and they took a tough shot and that's what you want, and rebounded and won the game because of toughness. That's the way you have to play.”

OK, Ginobili's turn.

Asked if he got the shot he wanted, Ginobili said: “Well, not as open as we wanted, but at least I could let it fly. It didn't look bad, but it was fading to the right. It wasn't my best shot, of course, but I didn't have options. They played good D. They realized I was coming to that corner, and they closed out. So we had to improvise, and it wasn't a great shot, but it wasn't a bad one, either. It just didn't go in.”

Translation, no one is exactly sure what happened, but it happened, and the Thunder leads the series 3-2 heading back to Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 6 on Wednesday at 8 p.m.


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