Before Gregg Popovich, Ginobili played in Italy for Messina, and on Sunday he delivered a throwback performance for his old coach to save the Spurs’ season.
Experiencing a flashback to his days playing for Messina in the Euroleague in his early 20s, the 40-year-old Ginobili scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help San Antonio beat the Golden State Warriors 103-90. cheap authentic nfl jersey The Spurs avoided a series sweep as Popovich missed his second straight game following the death of his wife, Erin, on Wednesday.
In his 16th season in the NBA and perhaps the final home game of his career, Ginobili rebounded from a scoreless effort in Game 3 to help Messina capture his first playoff victory as a coach, albeit an unofficial one.
”For moments when he talks to the rest of the team, or when he gets upset and he yells at us, a lot of flashbacks,” Ginobili said, chuckling. ”He’s very strict and he wants the team to play his way, so whenever we stopped executing the way we should have, the old himself comes back. It was good to see him coaching on this stage. Good memories.”
Ginobili played for Messina while both were with Virtus Bologna in 2000-02.
Kevin Durant had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who can wrap up the series in Game 5 at home Tuesday.
”You have got to give them a lot of credit,” Golden State forward Draymond Green said. ”They came out and they probably played with more intensity this game than they did the entire series.”
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but they were willed to the finish by Ginobili, who has said he will decide in the offseason if he will return for a 17th season.
Ginobili was 3 for 4 in the final quarter, including making both of his 3-point attempts, and did not have a turnover in 6 1/2 minutes.
”I am so happy for him,” Messina said. ”I’m so happy.nfl cheap jerseys from china I think he deserves everything that is happening to him in his life and his career.”
Golden State outscored San Antonio 29-21 in the third quarter and went on a 13-5 run beginning two minutes into the fourth quarter to pull within 88-86 with 6 minutes remaining after trailing by as many as 17.