Backed up against the wall on Sunday afternoon, with a sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors seeming imminent, Manu Ginobili put on a magnificent performance off the bench to help propel the San Antonio Spurs to a 103-90 victory, sending the series back to Oakland for Game 5.
With the win, Ginobili and Tony Parker also became the winningest pair of teammates in NBA postseason history, notching win No. 132 between the two Spurs lifers. Unsurprisingly, they passed the duo of Tim Duncan and Parker, who shared 131 playoff victories, five clear of the next best duo - Duncan and Ginobili, who were teammates for 126 playoff wins.
Ginobili finished with 16 points on 5-of-10 from the floor, five assists, and three rebounds in 25 minutes of action, punctuated by a dagger three-ball in front of the Warriors' bench to lock up the victory in the final seconds.
"We were all fired up, and we saw we were in a great situation to get that win when we needed it," Ginobili said postgame via ESPN's Michael C. Wright. "Now, we have a few hours to feel good about this win, and tomorrow, we'll start thinking about Game 5."
Ginobili scored 10 of his 16 points in the last six minutes of the game, a performance even Golden State head coach Steve Kerr could get behind.
"I smiled when he made that corner three right in front of us at the end of the game. It was just so typical Manu: (40) years old and 16 points, and hits the clinching three. 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."
The veteran is just the third NBA player at age 40 to produce 15-plus points and five-plus assists in a playoff game, joining Utah Jazz legends Karl Malone and John Stockton.