The San Antonio Spurs fought hard to the very end but would ultimately fall 99-91 to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Game 5 of their first-round series on Tuesday night.
The loss eliminates the Spurs from the NBA Playoffs in the first round for the first time since the 2014-15 season when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
“Our spirit was fantastic not only tonight but throughout the season,” Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina said. “All the things these players experienced during the year they have done an incredible job. Tonight we grinded to give ourselves a shot.”
- The Spurs showed heart and did not lay down despite going down 17 points in the third quarter. San Antonio outscored Golden State 26-20 in the quarter and was down just three with 1:36 left in regulation.
- San Antonio played with pride in Game 4 and 5 and considering the situation of not having Coach Pop, that is all you can really ask for.
- LaMarcus Aldridge dominated as he did all season.
- Manu Ginobili. Enough said there.
- The Spurs were eliminated from the postseason with the loss, it is always sad to see the Silver and Black go fishing for the summer.
- Kevin Durant did what he has done all season and burned the Spurs in the final moments of Game 5. He finished with 25 points on 8-of-19 shooting and scored six straight points in the final moments for Golden State.
- Danny Green‘s struggles on the offensive end continued in Game 5 as he went scoreless, going 0-for-5 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-point range.
Three Standout Players:
Where would the Spurs have been without LaMarcus Aldridge this season? Probably in the lower half of the Western Conference standings if we’re honest. Aldridge poured in another monster game in the series finale, posting a game-high 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds.
Aldridge struggled shooting, going 8-for-18 but helped San Antonio battle back in the final quarter. His three-point play brought the deficit down to just five points with three minutes left and nearly gave the Spurs the lead if not for a Ginobili turnover late. If he can continue this type of play next season, the Silver and Black will be dangerous once again.
Manu Ginobili earned the nickname “Grandpa Juice” this season and he definitely left his mark on the NBA Playoffs. No one in the league plays with as much passion and heart as Ginobili and if this was his final NBA game, he left it all on the court.
Ginobili finished with 10 points on 42 percent shooting, five rebounds, and seven assists in Game 5. However, he made his mark with a 16 point performance in Game 4, including 10 in the fourth quarter. He is one of the main reasons San Antonio even played a fifth game of the series, to begin with.
The 40-year-old Ginobili is set to earn $2.5 million with the Spurs next season but as always says he will wait until the summer to make a decision if he will return or not. If he does decide to hang it up, he went out his way.
In typical Manu fashion.
Patty Mills shrugged off a season filled with struggles and criticism from fans to have a stellar Game 5 performance. Mills may have struggled on and off throughout the regular season but he stepped it up in the playoffs.
Mills finished with 18 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range (4-for-10) on Tuesday. He helped out Aldridge in the scoring column but had two turnovers in the final moments of the game. However, he has so much to build on for next season.
A critical offseason that will define the future of the Spurs begins. The organization will have to make a decision about Kawhi Leonard if the rumors of discord turn out to be true. Ginobili’s future remains up in the air, Tony Parker is a free agent, Joffrey Lauvergne, Danny Green and Rudy Gay will be free agents if they don’t pick up their player options.
“As for what will happen in the summer I honestly don’t know,” Messina said.