Manu Ginobili and LaMarcus Aldridge help Spurs beat Warriors

Manu Ginobili and LaMarcus Aldridge help Spurs beat Warriors

SAN ANTONIO — Ettore Messina was screaming at the Spurs, and Manu Ginobili loved it.

Before Gregg Popovich, Ginobili played in Italy for Messina, and on Sunday he delivered a throwback performance for his old coach to save the Spurs’ season.

Experiencing a flashback to his days playing for Messina in the Euroleague in his early 20s, the 40-year-old Ginobili scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help San Antonio beat the Golden State Warriors 103-90. The Spurs avoided a series sweep as Popovich missed his second straight game following the death of his wife, Erin, on Wednesday.

In his 16th season in the NBA and perhaps the final home game of his career, Ginobili rebounded from a scoreless effort in Game 3 to help Messina capture his first playoff victory as a coach, albeit an unofficial one.

“For moments when he talks to the rest of the team, or when he gets upset and he yells at us, a lot of flashbacks,” Ginobili said, chuckling. “He’s very strict and he wants the team to play his way, so whenever we stopped executing the way we should have, the old himself comes back. It was good to see him coaching on this stage. Good memories.”

Ginobili played for Messina while both were with Virtus Bologna in 2000-02.

Kevin Durant had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who can wrap up the series in Game 5 at home Tuesday.

“You have got to give them a lot of credit,” Golden State forward Draymond Green said. “They came out and they probably played with more intensity this game than they did the entire series.”

LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but they were willed to the finish by Ginobili, who has said he will decide in the offseason if he will return for a 17th season.

Ginobili was 3 for 4 in the final quarter, including making both of his 3-point attempts, and did not have a turnover in 6 1/2 minutes.

LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs.

“I am so happy for him,” Messina said. “I’m so happy. I think he deserves everything that is happening to him in his life and his career.”

Golden State outscored San Antonio 29-21 in the third quarter and went on a 13-5 run beginning two minutes into the fourth quarter to pull within 88-86 with 6 minutes remaining after trailing by as many as 17.

Aldridge banked in a 3-pointer with 4:22 remaining to stop the Warriors’ run.

“It was kind of frustrating,” Green said. “We played great defense and he throws something up like that.”

Ginobili then took over with a pair of 3-pointers in the final minutes.

“I smiled when he made that corner 3 right in front of us at the end of the game,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “It was just so typical Manu. Forty years old and 16 points and hits the clinching 3. He’s Manu. That’s what he does.”

The Spurs were 15 for 28 on 3-pointers on Sunday after shooting just 26 percent in the opening three games. The Warriors were 7 for 28.

“It was a do-or-die game, make it happen or go home, and I think every guy played with that mentality, that focus, and we ended up getting it done tonight,” Aldridge said.

Aside from Durant, only Klay Thompson (12) and Shaun Livingston (10) scored in double figures for the Warriors.

Manu Ginobili celebrates a three-point basket.

Manu Ginobili celebrates a three-point basket.

Rudy Gay scored 14 points for San Antonio, Dejounte Murray had 12 and Kyle Anderson added 10.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Livingston played despite spraining his left ankle late in the Warriors’ Game 3 victory. Livingston played 21 minutes. … Golden State PG Stephen Curry remained seated behind the team’s bench as he continues to rehabilitate a sprained left knee. Curry is expected to be available for the second round. … Andre Iguodala picked up his fourth foul with 7:56 remaining in the third quarter, but picked up just one more foul for the remainder of the game.

Spurs: Ginobili played in his 217th playoff game, breaking a tie with Shaquille O’Neal for sixth in league history. Ginobili also passed Reggie Miller for third in career 3-pointers in playoff history. Ray Allen holds the record with 385 3-pointers, followed by LeBron James (337), Ginobili (321) and Miller (320). … Murray was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in the first half, the most 3s made in the playoffs without a miss by a Spurs player since Steve Kerr (2003) and Patty Mills (2014) were 4 for 4 in a half.

WE’RE OK

Durant was asked if the Warriors were downhearted following the loss because their locker room was so quiet following their first loss in the series.

“We were good,” Durant said. “I guess everybody was just quiet in the locker room while you were in there, getting ready, putting on their clothes, getting ready to leave. What, you want us to be in there throwing champagne around?”

OUCH

Ginobili took a knee to the thigh in the fourth quarter, but remained in the game after dropping to the court in pain.

“Quad contusion, one of hundreds all career long,” Ginobili said. “It hurts at the time, maybe tomorrow it’s going to hurt a little bit. We’ll see how bad or not bad it is for the next game.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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LeBron James scores 32 points as Cavs win 104-100 over Pacers

LeBron James scores 32 points as Cavs win 104-100 over Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS — LeBron James scored 32 points and combined with Kyle Korver for all but two of Cleveland’s final 13 points as the Cavaliers escaped with a 104-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday to even the first-round series at two games apiece.

James added 13 rebounds and seven assists in his 100th career playoff game with 30 or more points. Korver made four 3-pointers and wound up with 18 points.

Domantas Sabonis scored 19 points for Indiana. Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo each scored 17, though Oladipo struggled through a poor shooting night.

This one looked and felt a lot like the three previous games — tough, physical and down to the wire.

Indiana led 93-91 with 4:28 to go — but managed only four baskets the rest of the way as James and Korver spurred the decisive 10-2 run that gave the Cavs a 101-95 lead with 1:52 left.

The Pacers couldn’t get closer than three the rest of the way.

Even so, this series has not gone the way the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs hoped.

The Pacers never trailed in Game 1, had a chance to tie the score in the last 35 seconds after trailing by 18 in Game 2, rallied from a 17-point deficit in Game 3 and erased a 16-point, first-half deficit to take the lead early in the fourth.

LeBron James dropped 32 points as his Cavs evened the series.

LeBron James dropped 32 points as his Cavs evened the series.

(Darron Cummings/AP)

This time, James and Korver made sure the Cavaliers held on to win for the first time in four tries in Indianapolis this season.

If Cleveland wins two of the next three games, James will advance to the conference semifinals for the 13th consecutive year.

It appeared the Cavs might run away when they took a 49-33 with 6:01 left in the first half.

Instead, the Pacers closed the half on a 10-2 run to get within 60-50 and opened the second half on another 10-2 spurt to make it 62-60.

Cleveland charged back out to a 76-68 lead with 4:41 left in the third only to watch the Pacers score the final six points of the quarter, tie the score on Lance Stephenson’s 11-footer to open the fourth and take the lead on Sabonis’ 3-pointer with 10:51 left.

From that point, it was an all-out slugfest that included James getting called for a technical foul and a wrestling match between Stephenson and Jeff Green for the ball with 9 seconds left. Green finally sealed the win with two free throws after Stephenson was called for a foul.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: J.R. Smith scored 12 points as the Cavs were 12 of 34 on 3s. … Cleveland outscored Indiana 17-7 on fast-break points. … Korver has now made 200 3s in his postseason career. … James extended his record of games with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists to 75. … Kevin Love had five points and 11 rebounds. … The Cavs were 12 of 34 on 3s.

Tristan Thompson scores as Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo defend.

Tristan Thompson scores as Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo defend.

Pacers: Have lost six of their last eight playoff games against Cleveland. … Thad Young has 12 points and 16 rebounds. …. Oladipo was 5 of 20 from the field. … The Pacers were 12 of 33 on 3s. … Indiana allowed more than 100 points for the first time in this series.

UPHILL BATTLE

Cavaliers point guard George Hill sat out Game 4 with back spasms, an injury he first suffered during Game 1 and aggravated during Game 3.

And it’s not clear whether he’ll be ready to go Wednesday, either.

“There’s just not a lot of movement there,” coach Tyronn Lue said before the game.

With Hill out, the Cavs plugged veteran Jose Calderon into the starting lineup less than 48 hours after not even seeing the court.

Calderon finished with two points and one assist.

UP NEXT

Game 5 will be played Wednesday in Cleveland.

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Giannis' tip-in lifts Bucks over Celtics in Game 4

Giannis' tip-in lifts Bucks over Celtics in Game 4

MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including tipping in the go-ahead basket with 5 seconds left, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 104-102 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Boston’s Marcus Morris missed a 14-footer at the buzzer with Khris Middleton’s hand in his face to seal a nail-biting win for the Bucks.

Seconds earlier, the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo jumped and reached up with his left arm around Boston’s Jayson Tatum to put back Malcolm Brogdon’s missed layup for the game-winner.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Boston.

Jaylen Brown had 34 points for the Celtics, while Tatum added 21. Tatum’s 18-footer with 52 seconds left gave the Celtics a brief 100-99 lead.

He just couldn’t hold off Antetokounmpo on the other end for the decisive tip-in.

The disappointing end for the Celtics overshadowed their spirited rally from a 65-45 deficit with 7:37 left in the third quarter. Play got chippy and the Celtics limited the Bucks’ transition game.

Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton celebrate after Antetokounmpo made a basket in the final seconds.

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton celebrate after Antetokounmpo made a basket in the final seconds.

(Morry Gash/AP)

They came up one basket short at the end.

TIP INS

Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens kept his starting five intact after the team never recovered from a disastrous first quarter in Game 3. Stevens said he would likely only make a switch for matchup purposes. … Boston ended with a 43-36 edge on the boards. … Morris finished with 13 points and shot 4 of 14.

Bucks: Starting C John Henson missed a second straight game with a sore back. … The Bucks went with the same starting five as Game 3, with Zeller replacing Henson and Brogdon starting for Tony Snell. … Jabari Parker led a vigourous effort off the bench with 16 points and seven rebounds. Backup C Thon Maker blocked five shots and played most of the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Game 5 is Tuesday at the TD Garden in Boston.

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Heat's Winslow fined $15,000 for stepping on Joel Embiid' mask

Heat's Winslow fined $15,000 for stepping on Joel Embiid' mask

NEW YORK — Miami’s Justise Winslow has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for attempting to damage Philadelphia center Joel Embiid’s facemask during Game 3 of their playoff series.

Winslow intentionally stepped on Embiid’s mask after it had fallen onto the court with 7:51 remaining in the second quarter of the 76ers’ 128-108 victory on Thursday night.

The NBA cited Winslow for unsportsmanlike conduct in announcing the penalty Friday.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is wearing a mask after breaking an orbital bone around left eye.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is wearing a mask after breaking an orbital bone around left eye.

Embiid was wearing the mask for the first time after returning from a 10-game absence caused by a broken orbital bone around his left eye.

Philadelphia leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is Saturday.

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Knicks plan to talk to Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer

Knicks plan to talk to Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer

The Knicks reportedly plan to discuss their vacancy with Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, further expanding what is already a wide net.

Budenholzer is still under contract with the Hawks but has been given permission by the club to interview with other teams. The 2015 Coach of the Year already interviewed with the Suns but reportedly withdrew from consideration.

New York’s plan to talk to Budenholzer was reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which also wrote that the coach may still return to the Hawks.

Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer

Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer

(Morry Gash/AP)

The Knicks have already interviewed at least five people (Kenny Smith, Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, Mike Woodson, David Fizdale) and another, David Blatt, scheduled for next week.

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Stephen Curry could return in time for Western Conference semis

Stephen Curry could return in time for Western Conference semis

SAN ANTONIO — Warriors guard Stephen Curry could return as early as the beginning of the Western Conference semifinals, but that hinges on two variables.

When will the Western Conference semifinals start? How well does Curry progress his rehab on his Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee?

The Warriors will have more clarity on both of those questions within the next week. The Warriors cleared Curry on Friday to participate in “modified team practices” beginning on Saturday. The Warriors will play Game 4 of their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday with a chance to sweep them for the second consecutive year.

If both the Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans sweep the Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively, the NBA could move up the start date of the Western Conference semifinals to April 28 or 29. The Warriors plan to reevaluate Curry on April 27, making it possible he could return just in time for the Warriors’ second-round playoff series.

Though the Warriors determined that Curry has made “consistent, functional progress” since injuring his left knee on March 23, it is not yet clear when Curry can advance to five-on-five full-court contact drills. But if Curry progresses with the intensity of his on-court rehab without any setbacks this week, it is possible Curry could begin participating in full practices before the Warriors reevaluate him next Friday.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry warms up before Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA playoff series against the Spurs.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry warms up before Game 3 of the team’s first-round NBA playoff series against the Spurs.

(Eric Gay/AP)

If the Warriors-Spurs and/or Pelicans-Trail Blazers series unexpectedly go longer than four games, the second-round could begin as late as either April 30 or May 1. The Pelicans play a potentially series-clinching Game 4 on Saturday against Portland. If the Trail Blazers fight off elimination, New Orleans and Portland could play Games 5 (Tuesday), 6 (Thursday) and 7 (Saturday). The Warriors would have the same schedule for Games 6 and 7, if the Spurs avoid elimination. Though those scenarios could give Curry more time to progress with his practice regimen, it remains to be seen how that might influence both the pace he increases his workload and the timing of his return.

Curry has been with the Warriors’ on their five-day trip in San Antonio both to advance with his rehab and to be with the team. He has spent the past week completing various shooting, running and lateral movement drills. Following practices and shootarounds, Curry has worked on exercises with an elastic band.

©2018 The Mercury News /Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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