The San Antonio Spurs claimed a vital road win in Game 5 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night which gives them an important 3-2 series lead.
This thrilling first-round series has seen the momentum swing in each team’s favour on numerous occasions over five enthralling games to start with, but now the defending champions have the opportunity to close it out in Game 6 on Thursday.
Tim Duncan scored 21 points before DeAndre Jordan was called for basket interference on a huge call with 4.3 seconds left as the Spurs hung on to the win and now head home for a chance to finish the series at the first time of asking.
It didn’t come without drama though as the Clippers fought back in the fourth quarter, but Kawhi Leonard (18 points) and Manu Ginobili with 14 points off the bench secured the victory.
Jordan finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, but it was that crucial play that will last in the memories of the fans if this series is over on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets saw off the Dallas Mavericks with a win to secure their first playoff series since 2009 as James Harden scored 28 points.
Houston won the series 4-1 to advance with Dwight Howard adding 18 points and 19 rebounds while Josh Smith had 20 points. They will now await either the Spurs or the Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.
Dallas Mavericks 94-103 Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs 111-107 Los Angeles Clippers