As the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat battled it out in Game 5 of the NBA finals, a vendor did brisk business outside, selling merchandise, which included Spurs’ wristbands. Of the players, Tony Parker and Danny Green were the favourites.
Inside the stadium, Green and Parker’s acumen enabled the Spurs to cut through the Heat defence and script a 114-104 win. The victory also gave the Spurs a 3-2 lead in the seven-match series.
Parker, whose hamstring was a major concern for the team management before the start of Sunday’s contest, emerged the highest scorer for the team, netting 26 points. Apart from Parker and Green (24 points), Manu Ginobili (24 points) was also impressive.
"We had to play super aggressive, and it paid off," said Parker.
Playing an attacking game, the Spurs raced to a 32-19 lead in the first quarter. Since the Heat star players, including LeBron James, were ineffective under the basket, it allowed the home team to continue with their scoring in the second quarter as well (61-52).
Big three flop
It was not only James, but Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the other two key Heat players, who faltered. James and Wade scored 25 points each but that wasn’t enough. "We slipped in small segments, and it proved to be costly," said James.
He did make inroads in the third quarter, reducing the lead to four points (57-61), but Spurs’ Green stretched the lead by shooting a three pointer.
Green’s outstanding performance, he set the NBA finals’ record of three pointers, made the difference. And despite pressing hard, Heat ran out of steam in the concluding quarter.
After Sunday’s win, the Spurs look to have a grip on the proceedings but with the action moving to the Heat home turf, things might not be as easy.
Spurs get green light to shine
Before the 2013 NBA Finals began, LeBron James let it be known that Danny Green was once his "rook" at Cleveland. Well, the sidekick sure has grown up. And LeBron doesn’t have much to say now.
San Antonio’s Green has put his name in the NBA record books. With a 3-pointer in the third quarter of Game 5 on Sunday, Green set the NBA Finals record for most 3s made in a series, putting him at 25/38 so far. That’s almost 70 percent. That’s mindblowing. In fact, Green has pipped superstars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker as the front-runner to win the Finals MVP if Spurs clinch their fifth ring.
Green has emerged the unlikely leading scorer for Spurs, averaging 18 points. That’s nearly eight more than his season’s average, and his 90 points these five games are more than what he scored in his first two seasons combined.
Green hit an incredible 7/9 from deep in Game 3, sparking an impressive 36-point Spurs victory. He also hit 5/5 from deep in Miami’s Game 2 thrashing. Whenever Spurs have sought inspiration, Greg Popovich has looked no further than his 3-point machine.
Sorry, Sugar Ray
Green now holds the record previously held by Heat guard Ray Allen, who set it in 2008 with the Boston Celtics, shooting 22
3-pointers against Lakers in a six-match showdown. Allen guarded Green on Sunday!
D-League to Big time
It's been an incredible journey for Green, who has twice been relegated to D-League teams since arriving in the NBA in 2009. He is now a superstar.
Champs have no answer
Heat are yet to find an answer for Green. Miami guard Dwyane Wade, who alongwith Allen has guarded Green this series, said he couldn’t remember many players who shot the ball this well in high pressure situations.champs have no answer
Heat are yet to find an answer for Green. Miami guard Dwyane Wade, who alongwith Allen has guarded Green this series, said he couldn’t remember many players who shot the ball this well in high pressure situations.
The writer's trip has been sponsored by Sony Six