Published May 03, 2016
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tim Duncan had 21 points with 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 111-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Kawhi Leonard finished with 18 points and nine rebounds -- none bigger than his rip in the closing seconds that secured the win.
"One would assume that experience probably helps you, but not enough when players are making plays," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Manu Ginobili scored 14 points, while Tony Parker and Patty Mills each added 13 points for the Spurs, who lead the series 3-2 and will look to advance in Game 6 on Thursday in San Antonio.
Blake Griffin scored 21 of his 30 points in the first half and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Clippers. Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists and DeAndre Jordan registered 21 points and 14 rebounds.
With under a minute left, Duncan turned Griffin away on a drive to the basket and Parker made 1-of-2 from the line to give the Spurs a 108-105 lead with 48.5 seconds left.
Griffin missed both free throws on the Clippers' next possession and Jamal Crawford missed a 3-pointer after a Paul rebound. Matt Barnes, who corralled another offensive board on the trip, made two free throws to cut the deficit to one.
"You think about the playoffs and they are single-possession games," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
Leonard drove and kicked to a wide open Danny Green, who missed the 3-pointer, and Barnes grabbed the rebound with 6.9 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Griffin attempted a floater in the lane that was rolling around the rim when Jordan nicked the ball as it was on the cylinder for offensive goaltending.
Green made the first free throw, missed the second and the Leonard came down with a timely rebound before sealing the victory with two at the line.
"Two really competitive groups, with a missed shot here and a missed shot there that it really comes down to. It really goes back and forth like that, that's why it's called a game," Popovich said.
Duncan held Griffin to 1-of-9 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Leonard tipped in a Parker miss, Chris Paul was given a technical foul and Green converted the free throw for a 98-94 lead with 4:48 remaining in the game. Duncan hit nothing but net on the next time down the floor to increase the margin to six.
Paul quickly got a layup to go for the Clippers, but Leonard found a wide open Boris Diaw for a 3-pointer that helped San Antonio to a 103-96 lead with 3:35 left. The spread remained seven when Paul recorded a three-point play prior to Griffin feeding Jordan for a dunk which forced a Spurs timeout.
Mills hit a 3-pointer and Ginobili made a pair of free throws to give the Spurs a 72-67 lead with 3 1/2 minutes to play. Los Angeles went on a 10-1 run moments later to gain an 80-77 edge. Marco Belinelli dropped in a 3 in the closing seconds, then Crawford raced up the floor and found Austin Rivers, who hung in the air and banked in a shot at the buzzer to tie the game at 82-82 entering the fourth.
"Every loose ball, every big play, they made," Rivers said of the Spurs.
Jordan made successive alley-oop baskets as part of an 11-0 run for a 27-13 Clippers lead late in the first. San Antonio then scored the final nine points of the quarter to trim its deficit to five. Mills fired in a 3-pointer to begin the second before Ginobili canned one from beyond the arc and the Spurs took their first lead of the game at 28-27.
The Clippers used a 12-2 run that began with a Jordan putback slam to push their lead to 42-34. Parker converted a three-point play to end the surge and that started a string of nine straight points for San Antonio. It went back and forth from there with Paul's free throws sending Los Angeles into the break up 54-53.
San Antonio went 28-of-37 from the line, while Los Angeles went 26-for-42 ... J.J. Redick scored 13 points before fouling out late in the fourth ... Ginobili had a team-high six assists ... Griffin went 7-of-10 from the floor in the first half, but he converted just 3-of-15 in the second half ... The Clippers went 1-of-14 from beyond the arc.