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Manu Ginobili blocks James Harden at the buzzer as Spurs beat Rockets in OT

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It wasn’t a pretty game at the end, but it was an important one for Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs. In a tense, OT battle brought to the buzzer, it was Ginobili who wound back the clock and came up with a block on James Harden to save the win for the Spurs, 110-107.

Ginobili was the surprise of the game, seemingly coming out of nowhere after being nearly unplayable in the series against the Memphis Grizzlies. At one point to close the first half, Ginobili even split the defense to sky for a dunk.

Via Twitter:

Kawhi Leonard was spectacular, and the Spurs hung around the Rockets thanks to seemingly disjointed play on offense. San Antonio’s execution felt largely opportunistic, and mixed with Leonard’s strong play it allowed them to stay on top of the Rockets.

The second half was raucous, and San Antonio’s crowd was active all night. Danny Green hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter, sending the AT&T Center into a frenzy to start the fourth.

Houston couldn’t do much to pull away from the Spurs, as San Antonio seemed to steady down the stretch. Ginobili in particular was a nightmare for the Rockets to deal with, eventually completing a drive with 34.5 seconds left to tie the game at 101.

On the next possession, Harden drew an offensive foul by extending his arm on a drive against Jonathon Simmons, giving San Antonio the chance to win the game with 11 seconds to go.

Aching from what appeared to be an ankle injury sustained earlier in the game, Leonard sat on the sideline for the Spurs’ final play in regulation. That left it to Patty Mills, who had to isolate after Pau Gasol failed to come up and give him a screen as the clock wound down. Mills did happen to make a banked 3-pointer at the buzzer, but after review it was waived off, forcing the game to overtime.

OT was particularly ugly, and the first point wasn’t scored until 2 minutes to go in the extra period. Both teams looked confused, waiting until the shot clock ran down to isolate without running a full set.

Surprisingly it was Green who came through in the clutch for San Antonio. The veteran guard hit a 3-pointer with a minute left, then followed it up with a strong drive to the hole to give the Spur a 109-107 lead with 30 seconds left.

Houston piddled away late possessions, including a missed 3-pointer, a turnover that turned into a jump ball, and a final shot for Harden that Ginobili blocked:

Ginobili finished the night with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, adding seven rebounds, five assists, and the all-important block on Harden. Leonard dropped in 22 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Mills scored a playoff career-high 20 points.

For Houston, Harden led the way with 33 points on 11-of-24 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists for yet another triple-double. Patrick Beverley contributed 20 points and four rebounds. Ryan Anderson added 19 points off the bench.

San Antonio now have a 3-2 series lead as they head back to Houston.

Report: Grizzlies starting power forward JaMychal Green out several weeks

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The Grizzlies are undefeated, having topped another playoff hopeful (Pelicans) in their season-opener.

But things seem tenuous in Memphis.

Not only is Chandler Parsons feuding with Grizzlies fans, JaMychal Green is hurt.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The supporting cast looks rickety around Mike Conley and Marc Gasol unless second-rounder Dillon Brooks (19 points on 7-of-13 shooting +17 against New Orleans) keeps humming. And maybe even still then.

Green’s injury opens the door for bigger roles for Jarell Martin and maybe Parsons (gulp).

At least Green locked in his guaranteed money. This shows why he couldn’t afford to risk taking the qualifying offer.

Booed by Grizzlies fans, Chandler Parsons says he’ll treat home games like road games

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Chandler Parsons‘ great sin? Signing a four-year, $94 million contract and failing to justify it due to injuries. He missed 48 games last season and struggled mightily while on the court.

His more recent transgression? Missing a couple free throws.

The Grizzlies forward missed a pair from the line in yesterday’s season-opening win over the Pelicans, and Memphis fans booed him:

Later, Parsons drew a three-shot foul, and Marc Gasol tried to rally the crowd behind Parsons:

Plenty of fans cheered, but as Parsons went 1-for-3, others still booed.

Parsons, via Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal:

“I’ll just go into every game with the mentality that it’s a road game, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he said.

Finally, Parsons stuck up for himself, saying, “They can boo me, they can sarcastically cheer me, they can do whatever they want. … It’s tasteless , man, it makes no sense. We’re athletes, we’re human beings. I don’t know them personally, so, it’s just a little strange to me, but that’s sports.”

If Parsons didn’t understand Mavericks fans booing him after he left Dallas, he sure isn’t going to understand Grizzlies fans booing him while he’s still in Memphis.

Fans largely see Parsons as a character in the drama that is the Grizzlies – something removed from their everyday reality. Of course, Parsons is taking it personally. He’s a person, and it’s his everyday reality.

It’s unclear what portion of Memphis fans booed him. Grizzlies fans probably aren’t excited about cheering him right now, but many did – as a direct response to the boos. Even if they would’ve preferred no reaction a vacuum, those cheering fans didn’t want the boo birds speaking for them.

Parsons ought to remember those supportive fans before painting the entire home crowd as the enemy, or else he’ll turn everyone against him. None of this is fair to Parsons, who has surely been frustrated with his injuries, but he can control how he reacts to the fans.

Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac forgot to put on jersey for debut

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In the above video, Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac can be seen sitting on Orlando’s bench wearing his warmups midway through the first quarter. After a timeout, his seat was empty.

Where did he go?

Isaac, via Chris Barnewall of CBS Sports:

“I didn’t even put my jersey on. I was on the bench and I completely forgot my jersey. I didn’t even put it on,” Isaac said.

When asked when he retrieved his white, pinstriped Magic jersey, he said: “five minutes left in the first quarter. [I left it] sitting right there.”

Isaac checked in a few minutes later – with his jersey on – and quickly scored.

Good thing the Magic’s rotation didn’t call for him to enter the game sooner. And this was obviously easier to laugh off after Orlando beat the Heat.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin out for season

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The fears for Nets point guard Jeremy Lin have been realized.

Nets release:

Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin has been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee.  The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game at Indiana. Lin is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season.

This is obviously a devastating setback for Lin, who missed 46 games last season in his first year with Brooklyn. The Nets’ already-slim playoff chances fade further with the loss of arguably their best player, though fellow point guard D'Angelo Russell shined in his Brooklyn debut with 30 points.

The trickle-down effects of this injury are perhaps more intriguing.

This makes the Nets’ first-round pick – owned by the Cavaliers – more valuable. Does that make LeBron James more likely to re-sign with Cleveland next summer (either because the Cavs add a top-flight rookie or trade the selection for a valuable veteran)? Does that alter long-term plans in Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and elsewhere?

Lin’s injury doesn’t just sting in Brooklyn. It could alter the entire landscape of the NBA.