San Antonio Spurs History

Remembering Manu Ginobili's most epic game in every NBA season

Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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2015 - Manu blows up for nearly 30 off the bench

Turning 37 before the start of the 2014-15 season, Manu Ginobili still was able to play in 70 of the team's 82 games that year, averaging nearly 23 minutes per game. With the emergence of Kawhi Leonard joining Duncan and Parker as anchors of the team, he wasn't asked to do as much for the rest of his career.

Still, Manu had throwback nights fairly often, including on one November night at home against the Indiana Pacers. Looking for their 10th win in their season's first 14 games, the Spurs were clinging to a one-point lead heading into the fourth when Manu assured they wouldn't lose it.

Ginobili's 28 points were a game-high, and most importantly, the Spurs secured another W.

2016 - Manu barely misses in a dominant bench performance

With Manu on the better side of 38 years old and Tim Duncan approaching 40, Gregg Popovich wisely started to shift the team's focal points to Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard for the 2015-16 season. The result? Only a franchise-best 67 wins.

This team had a perfect blend of valuable veterans and emerging stars, and Ginobili still had plenty of nights when he was the best player on the court. In March 2016, the Spurs had a 52-9 record when they hosted the Sacramento Kings. Despite Aldridge missing this game, San Antonio didn't miss a beat.

Behind 25 from Leonard and 22 from Ginobili, the Spurs won 104-94, and Manu's 8-for-11 shooting night was a big reason.

2017 - Manu fights Golden State valiantly against impossible odds

The 2017 Western Conference Finals will always remain one of the biggest what-ifs in Spurs history. After all, Kawhi Leonard was going berserk to lead the Spurs to a huge lead on the road in Game 1 until Golden State's Zaza Pachulia effectively ended the series before it could really start.

With Duncan retired and Parker rupturing his tendon in the second round, only one of the Big Three was left to take on the Warriors' big three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. As expected, the result wasn't pretty for San Antonio.

Still, Manu Ginobili wasn't about to go down without a fight. In Game 3, the 39-year-old scored 21 points in under 18 minutes in a 12-point loss. Just two days later, he scored another 15 points while also recording seven assists and three steals.

The series would've certainly looked much different if Leonard hadn't gone down, and his injury remains the biggest event that led to the extended rebuilding process the Spurs have since been on.

2018 - Manu turns in back-to-back vintage performances at age 40

Manu Ginobili's final season in the NBA came with just two 20-point performances. Funny enough, they happened in back-to-back games in January of 2018. At age 40, he carved up the Phoenix Suns for 21 points, only missing three of his 10 shots from the field as the Spurs won by 14.

Next. The Top 30 San Antonio Spurs Ever. dark

Against the Portland Trail Blazers two days later, Manu turned back the clock again, scoring 26 points off the bench at the Moda Center. Although it ended in a one-point loss, this was the most points he would score in his last season. His 26 puts him in a club with Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parish, and John Stockton as players to score 25 or more in a game at age 40.

Manu Ginobili Week continues with a look at where he'd land in a 1999 NBA redraft.

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