Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 6/16/13
Dallas-mavericks-san
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Manu Ginobili had seven points and four assists in a surprise start to spark the San Antonio Spurs to a 32-19 lead over the Miami Heat after one quarter in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. Tim Duncan added seven points and five rebounds for the Spurs, who entered their last home game of the series tied with the Heat at two games apiece. Dwyane Wade had eight points and LeBron James added seven for the Heat, who shot 30 percent in the quarter. Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Miami. Tony Parker had seven points on that tender right hamstring and the Spurs shot 63.2 percent in the first quarter, closing the period on a 15-2 run to take control. The Heat missed 12 of their first 17 shots and looked a little stunned by Ginobili in the early going. Nowhere to be found in the first four games, and for most of these playoffs, Ginobili had his fingerprints all over the opening of Game 5 when he got the start. He hit a step-back jumper, had two pretty assists on a backdoor cut from Danny Green and a thunderous dunk from Duncan and knocked down two free throws for an early 9-4 lead. Ginobili's 3-pointer from the wing made it 15-10, bringing the nervous crowd to its feet. The awakening was a welcome sign for the Spurs, who desperately missed their playmaking daredevil. He was averaging only 7.5 points and shooting 34 percent in his first four games. The Heat reclaimed momentum in Game 4 thanks to a shuffle of the starting lineup by coach Erik Spoelstra, who moved sharp-shooter Mike Miller into the starting lineup in Udonis Haslem's place, giving Miami a smaller lineup that spaced the floor better and gave James and Wade room to operate. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made a move to match that on Sunday night, putting the struggling Ginobili in for center Tiago Splitter. The crowd roared for Ginobili when he was introduced last, with one banner reading "We still Gino-believe!" Wade had endured a similarly quiet start to these finals before erupting for 32 points and six steals in Miami's Game 4 victory that evened the series. That carried over to the opening quarter of Game 5, when Wade's assertive play helped Miami withstand Ginobili's initial haymaker. Wade's trademark euro-step on the break and two free throws kept the game tight and James hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 17 with under five minutes to play in the period. Parker was slowed in Game 4 by a strained right hamstring, but had two days of rest and rehab to try to get into shape. He said on Saturday that his hamstring "could tear any time now." Facing the specter of having to win two straight games on the road for the franchise's fifth title, there was simply no time to worry about that. He scored all seven of his first-quarter points during that quarter-closing surge and Kawhi Leonard closed it with a corner 3-pointer. The two teams entered Game 5 riding a pendulum of momentum that was swinging wildly back and forth over the previous three games. A classic, air-tight Game 1 victory by the Spurs gave way to three blowouts -- Miami by 19 in Game 1, San Antonio by 36 in Game 3 and the Heat by 16 in Game 4. The volatility made it difficult for either team to feel like it had a grip on expectations heading into the pivotal Game 5, but the Heat did appear to finally assert themselves with a dominant performance from their three All-Stars on Thursday night. James, Wade and Chris Bosh broke out of a series-long malaise to combine for 85 points, 30 rebounds and 10 steals, finally finding a way to get to the rim against the paint-clogging Spurs defense. The one common thread that has held this series together is the ability of each team to respond after appearing to be on the ropes. With Parker's right hamstring ailing, Ginobili's struggles and the Heat's three stars starting to roll, the Spurs were in serious trouble. There was so much more riding on this game for the Spurs than the Heat, who reclaimed homecourt advantage with their decisive victory in Game 4. Under the current 2-3-2 format that was adopted in 1985, no visiting team has won both Games 6 and 7 on the road in the finals. Sensing a chance to deliver a massive blow, a stone-faced James walked out of the locker room before the game started and gathered his team in the mouth of the tunnel before entering the arena. "Don't give them nothing," James hollered at his teammates.
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