The moment: With 6:09 left in the third quarter, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili had just touched down on the floor after a powerful one-handed dunk over Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets. At that time, Ginobili had just tied the Spurs with the Rockets at 56 points, and Ginobili was responsible for eight straight Spurs points as he had scored six points and assisted to Patty Mills for a layup.
Upon running back on the floor to get back on defense, Ginobili stopped, put two hands over his head and immediately grimaced into pain. He even tried to go to the scorer’s table hoping play would stop, but no one on his team had any idea he was hurt. The Spurs would play a few possessions before Ginobili was pulled with 4:59 left in third, and he immediately went limping to the locker room. The initial injury evaluation was a tight left hamstring and Ginobili would not return to the game. After the game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told the media it was the same injury that sidelined Ginobili for two games recently and that an MRI would be conducted on Wednesday.
With the Spurs already missing three injured players and adding Ginobili to the group, they would battle to the final minutes with the Rockets, who were also missing James Harden due to injury, but in the end, Dwight Howard, Jeremy Lin and the Rockets would hold on for the 97-90 win with five critical offensive rebounds coming in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.