Despite the fact that a Golden State victory was all but imminent, the opposing team made each game hard on them. So it hardly seems surprising Thompson only needed a tune-up to fix his engine.
All of the playoff memories they'd shared together, 16 years of dominance in which their San Antonio Spurs were the class of the National Basketball Association, and the 40-year-old found himself fighting off a first-round series sweep against the Golden State Warriors without his beloved coach on Sunday at the AT&T Center.
Ginobili undoubtedly still has more to give should he decide to return. And that involved making shots. While most people expected that the Warriors would end up winning game 4 and walking away with a sweep, things are not exactly expected as the Spurs made a dramatic effort and ended up beating the Warriors by 13 points (https://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2018/4/22/17268482/final-score-2018-pl.).
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"I just want to send my love to Pop and his family, again", Green said, according to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News. Just 129 playoff wins to go.
The Warriors were not always fine.
Unlike when the Warriors committed seven turnovers in the first five minutes, the Warriors stormed out to a 7-0 quarter lead about 95 seconds into the game.
4 down, 12 wins to go for the defending champs.
Ginobili, the hero of Game 4, couldn't produce the same spark in Game 5, finishing with nine points off the bench. "These last two days he's been rebounding like a beast". "Nothing's change. I just don't know".
"At the end of the day", Messina said, "the underdog has nothing to lose".
Thompson did not reach the 30-point plateau.
A name to remember in the series: Darren Erman. Such is the fate of the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. San Antonio managed to stay alive due to a stellar fourth quarter that helped them to close out a 103-90 victory before flying back to the Bay Area.
"As I've done it the last two or three seasons, I'll sit back, relax and, after two or three months, see if I feel retired or not", Ginobili said.
George led the scoring for Oklahoma City with 32 points while Westbrook had 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Golden State was up by 14 (79-65) going into the fourth quarter and led 89-77 before Aldridge sparked a 14-4 run that drew the Silver and Black to within two (93-91). He drilled a 21-foot jumper at the buzzer, prompting Curry to celebrate with him along the sideline.
As for the Warriors, Thompson should be ready to bounce back following his very bad shooting night in Game 4.