The San Antonio Spurs have been shooting the lights out in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but turnovers have again hurt the Western Conference champs as the Miami Heat pulled within 61-52 at halftime.
The clubs had an extra day of rest following Miami's empathic 16-point rout last Thursday, and the Spurs have responded by shooting a robust 62 percent from the field.
Carelessness with the ball, however, has the Spurs only ahead by nine at the break after leading by as many as 17. The Spurs tied a Finals record with four turnovers in the series opener, but they committed a debilitating 49 giveaways from Games 2-4. They have eight turnovers already Sunday, six coming in the second quarter when the Heat cut into their big deficit.
Manu Ginobili was in San Antonio's starting lineup for the first time all season, and the veteran has responded with 11 points and six assists. Tim Duncan has totaled 13 points and six rebounds, while Tony Parker has played admirably through a hamstring injury and has netted 11 points thus far.
Danny Green also has 13 points and with his third 3-pointer tied Ray Allen's Finals record with 22 for the series.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have all scored in double-digits in the first half. James has 16 points with no rebounds, Wade donated 14 points with six assists and Bosh chipped in 10 points for the Heat, who are hitting at a 42-percent clip from the floor.
The last three games have all ended in routs despite being close at halftime, so it's anyone's guess how this critical meeting will turn out.
Ginobili came in averaging 7.5 points in four Finals games and nearly topped that in the first five minutes with a deep jumper, two free throws and a 3- pointer that gave the Spurs a 15-10 lead.
James tied things at 17-17 with a 3-pointer, but the Heat missed their next seven shots during San Antonio's momentum-swinging 12-0 run, which was capped by a dunk from Kawhi Leonard off a nice bounce pass by Boris Diaw.
Leonard's triple in the closing seconds finished off the Spurs' efficient 12- of-19 shooting effort in the opening period and gave them a 32-19 cushion.
Green connected three times from behind the arc in a two-minute span to push San Antonio's lead to 45-28, but the Heat climbed back in it with a quick- hitting 14-2 flurry.
Allen's four-point play highlighted the push, but the Spurs held off the defending champs and went into the break up 61-52 thanks to Parker's coast-to- coast take to the rim.