The San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 16-point deficit in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and then needed two overtimes to beat the Golden State Warriors 129-127 in the opening game of their National Basketball Association second-round playoff series.
Manu Ginobili hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left last night as the Spurs denied the Warriors their first win in 30 games in San Antonio dating back to 1997. Ginobili had missed his previous seven shots.
“I have no clue how we won,” Ginobili said in a televised interview. “I really have to watch it to see what happened. We just kept going, and we made the last shot.”
The Spurs’ comeback came after the Chicago Bulls dealt the defending-champion Miami Heat their first loss of the NBA postseason with a 93-86 road victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Nate Robinson scored 27 points and Jimmy Butler added 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who outscored the Heat 35- 24 during fourth quarter to send Miami to its fifth loss in 44 home games this season.
“Our offense wasn’t as fluid and efficient as it normally is,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at a news conference. “You have to credit their defense. Shooting 39 percent and scoring under 90 in our building is not our style.”
It was the third time the Heat lost Game 1 of a playoff series since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have been playing together. They rallied to win the previous two series, most recently in last year’s NBA Finals.
Miami will host Game 2 tomorrow.
The NBA’s other two conference semifinals resume today, with the New York Knicks hosting the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference series after losing the opener at Madison Square Garden two days ago. In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder are home to the Memphis Grizzlies after rallying for a two-point Game 1 victory.
The Spurs trailed 104-88 with four minutes, 31 seconds remaining before ending the fourth quarter with an 18-2 scoring run to force overtime. San Antonio also rallied from a five- point deficit in the first overtime.
The Spurs then blew a five-point lead in the second five- minute overtime, as Golden State took a 127-126 lead with three seconds left before Ginobili caught a long inbounds pass and hit a wide-open three-pointer.
“Good timing,” said Ginobili, who finished with 16 points on 5-of-20 shooting.
Tony Parker had 28 points to lead San Antonio, the No. 2 seed in the West, while Danny Green scored 22 and Tim Duncan added 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Spurs will also host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series tomorrow.
Steph Curry scored 44 points to lead the Warriors, including 22 during the third quarter when Golden State turned a two-point lead into a 12-point advantage. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes each added 19 points for Golden State.
“We’re not the first team to lose a game like this, we won’t be the last,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to accept it. At the end of the day, they made plays and we didn’t make enough.”
The Bulls in March ended Miami’s 27-game regular-season winning streak -- the second-longest in NBA history -- and last night finished the game with 10 unanswered points to snap the Heat’s run of 12 straight victories.
James was limited to two points during the first half after receiving his NBA Most Valuable Player trophy and finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Wade had 14 points and was the only other player to score in double figures for Miami, which was outrebounded 46-32.
The Heat had been off seven days after completing their first-round sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks, while the Bulls were back in action two days after beating the Brooklyn Nets on the road in the decisive Game 7 of their opening-round series.
“You’re always faced with different challenges -- for us it was the quick turnaround, for the Heat, the layoff,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It was how quickly you can adapt to the challenge in front of you and we’ve been hit with a lot of things all year. I like the mental toughness of our team.”
The Bulls were without Kirk Hinrich and former NBA MVP Derrick Rose because of injuries, while Luol Deng also didn’t play because of an illness. Robinson led Chicago in scoring after receiving 10 stitches in his mouth and lip as a result of a first-half collision with James.
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