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A Terrible Tilt: Houston Rockets Drop Game 5, 110-107

May 9, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson (3) and Eric Gordon (10) defend during the first half in game five of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
May 9, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets power forward Ryan Anderson (3) and Eric Gordon (10) defend during the first half in game five of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
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The Houston Rockets lost a heartbreaker to the San Antonio Spurs in game 5. They’ll now have to win games 6 and 7 to take the series.

Look, I don’t know what to say. I had a different vision for my first postgame recap here at Space City Scoop.

It was maybe going to be focused on how the Rockets took control of the series via efficient offense and surprisingly stout defense. Or maybe I would have written snarkily about an aging or soft spoken Spurs roster.

Nooooooooope.

The Spurs took advantage of an awful overtime performance from the Houston Rockets to take a 3-2 series lead, winning the series’ first close game 110-107 OT.

Kawhi Leonard sat the last few minutes of regulation and all of overtime with a (probably) ankle sprain. It didn’t matter. James Harden had 9 total turnovers, 4 coming in the extra period. Manu Ginobli picked up the slack, tallying a 2000s era dunk, a clutch time layup, and the game-sealing block on Harden.

You can’t say too many negative things about Manu. I mean, I can, but I won’t here.

This game broke the pattern of big leads as the two teams exchanged runs. There were 14 different lead changes and 6 different ties. The Rockets had opportunities at the end of the 3rd quarter to widen the gap, but poor shot selection and turnovers foiled those plans.

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Even reserve guard Dejounte Murray, who started Game 4, was a complete scratch by coach’s decision. Instead, Kawhi Leonard and Johnathan Simmons shared ball handling duties when Patty Mills rested. Patty Mills started his first playoff game.

This one hurts. A very impressive defensive performance from Clint Capela, an EXTREMELY efficient shooting night from Patrick Beverley, and a fantastic first half from James Harden were all for naught.

The series returns to Houston on Thursday, where the Rockets fight for the opportunity to extend this series to its deciding game.

Next: 3 keys to beating San Antonio

It’s win or stay home. The Houston Rockets will have to #RunAsOne.

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