Gay, Ginobili pace Spurs over Kings to clinch playoff berth

first_imgInjuries to Leonard, Gay, Anderson, Ginobili, Tony Parker and others almost cost San Antonio a playoff berth.“Sometimes you’ve got to adjust your goals relative to your potential, the way you’ve been playing, the way the season is going,” Ginobili said. “So, we’ve got to be realistic. Maybe we’re not the favorites this year or maybe it wasn’t going to be a 60-win season like the previous ones. After what happened in February and early March, we had to shift our expectations. We mentioned in many times, the goal was to make it to the playoffs. Once we clinched, then we may think about standings, but the way the West is this year, it’s crazy. Everything is so clogged so tight that at this point, we’re happy to have clinched.”UP NEXTKings: Host Houston on Wednesday night.Spurs: Visit New Orleans on Wednesday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, left, and San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) scramble for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, April 9, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO— The Spurs seemed like a perfect free-agent destination as Rudy Gay searched for a guaranteed playoff berth after just one postseason appearance in 11 previous seasons.That assurance was eroded by injuries this season, but Gay made sure two decades of success didn’t come to an end in his first year in San Antonio.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames LATEST STORIES Gay scored 18 points, Manu Ginobili had 17 and the Spurs rallied late to beat the Sacramento Kings 98-85 on Monday night and clinch their 21st straight postseason appearance.“It feels good, it feels great actually,” Gay said. “This is what the regular season is for, to get to where we are now. This is a good feeling, something that I’m anxious for something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It’ll be fun.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSan Antonio is fifth in the Western Conference despite only having star forward Kawhi Leonard available for nine games this season. The Spurs still have a slim chance of finishing fourth and earning home-court advantage in the first round with one game remaining. For now, they are just happy to make the playoffs.“For moments we felt like the worst team in the NBA,” Ginobili said, “but we still managed to go close to 50 games and make it to the payoffs in a conference that is tough and talented and young and athletics. So, we managed to compete.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikinacenter_img MOST READ “The way I was growing up, you learn you never have anything given to you, so you’ve got to go get it on your own,” Gay said.Forbes’ fast-break layup off a steal by Kyle Anderson gave San Antonio its first advantage at 68-67 with 10:21 remaining. Sacramento went back ahead seconds later when Buddy Hield hit a 3-pointer, and the lead changed three times after that before Ginobili and Gay gave the Spurs’ the edge for good.Gay and Ginobili had thunderous dunks in the final five minutes that helped San Antonio maintain small leads. Gay also had a 3-point play off a runner he tossed in and ripped the ball from Cauley-Stein while blocking the 7-footers shot.A 3-pointer by Forbes and a layup by Ginobili 30 seconds later gave the Spurs an 82-77 lead with 5:23 remaining.“He did an amazing job,” Ginobili said of Forbes. “Not only to make shots it’s easy to see the 3s or the two big shots he got, but he played very solid defense, he was a pest chasing them around. We really changed the game when he was on the court.”LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points and 14 rebounds but was 6 for 19 from the field.De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, and Hield had 17 for the Kings.TIP-INSKings: Fox’s season-high for 3-pointers is six against the Spurs on Jan. 28. … The Kings’ last victory over the Spurs was Nov. 15, 2014 in Sacramento and their last win in San Antonio was Jan. 20, 2012. … Sacramento was without Iman Shumpert (left knee surgery), Garrett Temple (sprained left ankle), Skal Labissiere (sprained left ankle), Frank Mason (sore left heel) and Harry Giles (knee rehabilitation).Spurs: San Antonio’s streak of playoff appearances is the longest active streak in the four major professional sports. The Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL are second with 12 followed by the NFL’s New England Patriots with nine and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB with five. … Aldridge had his 27th double-double of the season, the most he has had in three seasons with the Spurs. The 12-year veteran had 26 double-doubles in his inaugural season in San Antonio and 18 last season.BEING REALISTICThe Spurs are having to adjust to a new reality after being a championship contender for the better part of the last two decades. PH Malditas bow to China in AFC Women’s Asian Cup Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Sacramento, which was eliminated from the postseason on March 11, led by 14 points before being outscored 38-19 in the fourth quarter.Reserves Gay, Ginobili and Bryn Forbes combined for 25 points in the fourth quarter. Forbes finished with 11 points total.“It’s tough when Rudy gets going, everything goes in,” said Willie Cauley-Stein, who finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.Gay had eight points, five rebounds, an assist and a block in the fourth quarter.San Antonio outscored Sacramento 50-25 after Gay entered the game with 6:38 remaining in the third quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more