Manu Ginobili sank a victory-clinching three-point shot in the San Antonio Spurs’ 103-90 triumph over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 that extended the two teams’ first round series in the NBA playoffs Sunday night.
The shot that was heard in all four corners of the post season made many faces, including Warriors coach Steve Kerr, smile. Never mind if the 40-year-old Spurs’ veterans’ heroics prevented the defending champions from advancing into the second round via a sweep.
Kerr, after the matchup, told ESPN’s Michael C. Wright he smiled when Ginobili knocked down a game-sealing triple in front of the Warriors’ bench, saying: “It was just so typical Manu (at 40 years old) hits the clinching 3.
“He’s Manu. That’s what he does. I know he’s old because he was my teammate, and I’m old as dirt. So, if I played with him, he must be old,” Kerr, who once wore the Spur uniform during his playing days, told Wright.
Manu’s trifecta, his third in the game, raised the Spurs’ 100-90 edge to 13 with 30 seconds left of the contest erasing whatever hopes there were for the Warriors to end the series.
Manu finished the contest 5-of-10 with 16 points, five assists and three rebounds. And if Game 4 was the final appearance of his NBA career in San Antonio, it was a fitting end to a remarkable career.
The Warriors eventually clinched a second round seat with a hard-earned 99-91 decision Spurs in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday pave the way for a semifinal duel with the New Orleans Pelicans, who had earlier swept the Portland Trailblazers.
After the game, Kerr and Manu hugged each other.
In a postgame interview, Ginobili said he is, at the moment, contemplating retirement.
But on that one Sunday night, Ginobili, one of the most respected veterans in the league, put a smile on plenty of faces—even the coach on the other end of the sideline.