SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Manu Ginobili had 20 points and nine assists in a surprise start to spark the San Antonio Spurs to an 87-75 lead over the Miami Heat after three quarters in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio. Danny Green scored 19 points and broke Ray Allen's finals record for 3s in a series for the Spurs, who entered their last home game of the series tied with the Heat at two games apiece.
LeBron James had 22 points on 7-for-17 shooting for Miami. Dwyane Wade added 22 points, but the Heat missed 21 of their first 29 shots to fall behind by 17 points early in the second quarter.
Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Miami.
Green was 5 for 7 from deep, giving him 24 3s for the series. Tony Parker had 17 points on that tender right hamstring, and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and six rebounds for the Spurs. San Antonio shot 60.4 percent to overcome 13 turnovers.
Chris Bosh had 12 points and six rebounds for the Heat, who looked a little stunned by Ginobili in the early going.
Green hit three straight 3s in the middle of the second quarter to tie Allen's record, which was 22. The Spurs led 47-30 on Duncan's two free throws before the Heat finally showed some fight.
A 12-0 run got Miami back within striking distance at 47-42 and the Heat surged out of the halftime gates to cut San Antonio's lead to two at 61-59 in the first 1:17 of the third.
San Antonio pushed right back, getting a jumper from Parker, a 3-pointer from Green that broke Allen's record and a lefty layup from Ginobili to get a little breathing room.
Ginobili closed the third with a twisting, left-handed runner and a right-handed drive to the bucket to bring cheers of "Manu! Manu!" from the delirious crowd.
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. He hit a step-back jumper, had two pretty assists on a backdoor cut from 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 5 minutes to play in the period.
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 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.
But for a team as talented and experienced as they are, these Heat have shown a maddening inconsistency over the last month. The team that won 27 straight during the regular season came into the game having going 11 straight games without winning two in a row.
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.