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Manu Ginobili Has Perfect Night, Sparks Key Win for Spurs

With the San Antonio Spurs playoff hopes on the line, veteran Manu Ginobili placed his teammates on his shoulder and carried them to victory at a crucial point in the fourth quarter on Saturday.

Late in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Ginobili scored eight straight points for the Spurs and kept alive the team’s once fading hopes for the postseason after San Antonio went on to win 116-105.

If San Antonio is able to defeat the Sacramento Kings on Monday, they will move on to the postseason for a 21st straight season. The Spurs can lose on Monday and still makes the postseason if either the Denver Nuggets or Minnesota Timberwolves lose on Monday.

Between the 4th seed and 9th seed very little separation exists and losses can end team’s playoff hopes. Utah is currently the 4th with a record of 46-33, while New Orleans is 5th at 46-34, San Antonio 6th at 46-34, Oklahoma City 7th at 46-34, Minnesota 8th at 45-35, and Denver 9th at 45-35.

The Pelicans, Thunder, Nuggets and Spurs were all victorious on Saturday.

The Spurs Ginobili in just 49 seconds stretched his team’s 4-point lead to 12. The 40-year old over that stretch during the fourth quarter hit a pair of 3-pointers, grabbed a rebound and made a steal then drove past his defender and made a finger roll giving the Spurs a 101-89 lead.

After Ginobili’s run, the Trail Blazers called timeout and Ginobili was hugged and praised by his much younger teammates on the way to the bench.

His teammates after the game called the Argentine a future Hall of Famer, a winner of multiple championships and a lover of the game as they say he could be relaxing with his family and children but is there with them fighting for another title.

Ginobili ended the game with 17 points in just over 19 minutes of action going 7-for-7 from the field. Ginobili scored 10 points during the crucial fourth quarter when he was 4-for-4 and added two rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Only four other NBA players in the history of the league have scored in double-digits in more games that Ginobili during one season at the age of 40 or old and that list includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Robert Parish.

He can add to his total on Monday.

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