- Associated Press - Monday, April 22, 2013

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Gregg Popovich can rest easy. Manu Ginobili is just fine.

The San Antonio Spurs‘ coach was concerned how Ginobili would feel following a day after his team’s 91-79 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Ginobili said he is doing just fine, thank you.

“I’m feeling good,” he said Monday. “I’m a little tired, of course, playing after such a long time, but I didn’t play that much, either. I feel real good.”

That’s great news for San Antonio entering Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Popovich’s concern is understandable. In his 11th season, the Argentine guard has battled leg injuries all season and was playing for the second time following a nine-game absence due to a strained right hamstring.

San Antonio struggled without Ginobili, losing three straight and seven of 10 to close the regular season. He missed every game in that stretch with the exception of the regular-season finale against Minnesota, when he played 12 minutes.

Ginobili played 19 minutes Sunday, going 6 for 13 from the field and 3 for 5 on 3-pointers in scoring 18 points to help the Spurs win the series opener. He helped San Antonio’s reserves outscore the Lakers‘ backups 40-10.

“It’s just his basketball IQ,” Duncan said. “Just him being on the floor brings a different energy, a different movement to the entire team.”

Ginobili scored eight straight points in the final 90 seconds of the third quarter, including a pair of 3s, to extend San Antonio’s lead to 70-57.

The scoring outburst surprised Ginobili, who cautioned not to expect much from him offensively in Game 1 after a long layoff.

“I didn’t picture myself scoring,” Ginobili said. “I pictured myself playing, contributing, getting a couple of assists, steals or something like that, but I didn’t think I was going to be able to score much, so I was surprised.”

His scoring was critical for San Antonio, which shot 38 percent from the field against Los Angeles. The Spurs were 32 for 85 overall and 7 for 22 on 3s.

“We missed a lot of shots,” Duncan said. “I know I missed a ton of open shots that I think I can knock down to give us a couple of extra points. We moved the ball well; we got open shots, it’s just about knocking them down.”

The Spurs offset their offensive deficiencies by holding the Lakers to 42-percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers. Los Angeles only had two fast-break points.

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