Basketball: Ginobili turns back the years to lead Spurs to 114-104 Game Five victory

SAN ANTONIO (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs got their swagger back as they put the Miami Heat in a world of hurt with a 114-104 win in pivotal Game Five of the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals on Sunday.

Veteran Manu Ginobili and three-point specialist Danny Green led a potent Spurs scoring attack, as the Spurs now head to Miami with a 4-2 series lead, and a chance to close out the series in Game Six on Tuesday.

Ginobili, who started the game on Sunday after coming in off the bench in the first four games of the series, finished with 24 points and 10 assists on eight-of-14 shooting from the field.

Green had 24 points and went six-of-10 from three-point range to set an NBA Finals series record by raising his overall total to 25.

Ray Allen, of the Heat, held the old record of 22 three pointers, but he needed seven games.

"I've been getting lucky," said Green, who scored a play-off career high 27 points in game three. "I was moving around a lot. Our transition helps us. Tony (Parker) penetrating and Manu penetrating, making the defence collapse is the reason why I've been getting open. Luckily a couple have dropped for me."

Ginobili, who has been playing so poorly up to this point in the play-offs he was hinting about retirement after the season, came into Sunday's game averaging just 7.5 points per game.

"I really didn't expect a 24-point game," he said. "I needed to make a couple of shots. I just had a better overall offensive game. I needed to feel that."

Ginobili's brilliant performance helped take some of the load off of all-star guard Parker, who is playing with a strained hamstring.

"Because Manu was great, I didn't have to be super aggressive," said Parker.

Of the previous 27 times the Finals have been tied 2-2, the winner of Game Five has gone on to win the series 20 times.

Miami's Dwyane Wade said it is tough to overcome a team that gets off to a hot start like San Antonio did Sunday and then shoots 60 per cent from the field overall.

"We just dug ourselves in a deep hole very early," Wade said. "We kept fighting, we kept feeling like we had a chance. But they continued to make shots. So credit to the Spurs."

The Heat are a perfect 6-0 in the post-season after a loss, but they now have 12 alternating wins and losses in these play-offs as neither team has won two in a row in the finals. They have to win both Games Six and Seven at home to take the series.

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