The San Antonio Spurs earned a 3-2 lead in the NBA Finals with their victory Sunday night over the Miami Heat, thanks in part to a record setting effort from Danny Green. Green set the mark for three point field goals made in an NBA Finals series with 25 through just five games in the 114-104 victory.
Holding the record going into game 5, and playing on the opposite side of the court from Green, Ray Allen saw his team go down along with his record in the same night. Ray Allen had set the record with the Boston Celtics during the team’s 2008 campaign. Against the Lakers he made 22 in seven games during that series.
Remaining humble even in breaking a major record in basketball’s biggest stage is impressive from the breakout star in the making. “It’s an honor to be even playing on the same floor as some of these guys. Growing up, I watched him play all the time,” Green told reporters after the game in regards to Ray Allen. “To think I broke a record of his is surreal.”
Once not considered good enough to play on the same team as LeBron in Cleveland, Danny Green is now an NBA Finals record holder, and putting his former teammate’s hopes of repeating as champion in serious peril. Green has shot 25-38 from deep thus far in the Finals, putting up almost eight three-balls a game. He shot 6-10 from long range in Sunday’s victory.
Tim Duncan, the Spurs longtime superstar, has nothing but praise for the man who has taken his place as the catalyst during this series. When asked how he feels about the young man’s performance thus far in the Finals, Duncan responded that “He’s been unbelievable. Especially on this stage. He’s been shooting the ball so well. We’re asking him to defend Dwyane Wade and LeBron and all these guys. He’s got a lot on his shoulders and he’s stepped up and answered the bell.”
High praise from a man who has never missed the playoffs in his career, and is hoping to secure a fifth NBA title of his astonishing career. Duncan and the Spurs now need just one more win to hoist the trophy after taking a Finals lead thanks to Danny Green’s record setting effort.
Containing the Miami Heat’s big three was a major factor in the Spurs being able to control the game throughout. Although Dwyane Wade continued his efforts from game 4 with a 25 point showing in game 5, LeBron only matched that point total and looked much worse doing so. James shot just 2 for 11 in the second half of play, not exactly the clutch performance that you expect from a man nicknamed “King James” when the bright lights of the biggest stage shine down.
Chris Bosh was able to produce 16 points, however his second half was as dreadful as James’. He was able to score just six points in the second half, while pulling down only one rebound. Totals like that have to be higher from big men in the Heat lineup from here on out if they want to string together back to back victories and repeat as champions.
Quarter transitions sunk the Heat as well. The Spurs were able to close the first and third quarters with a combined 27-3 run. Over just 8 minutes of play, albeit with a quarter in between, the Spurs were able to take a big lead that the Heat couldn’t come back from.
Miami is now out of losses for the season. Every game is a ‘must win’ scenario for the rest of the way. The Spurs have the lead in the Finals and need just one more win to call themselves champions thanks to Danny Green and his record setting ways. He is averaging nearly 8 points a game higher in this series than he did in the regular season. Can he help his team close out a title and become an instant superstar, so far he has shined in the spotlight, Tuesday we find out if it will continue.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express