Spurs’ Green Light Snags 3-Point Record

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SAN ANTONIO – There was a reaction shot of Miami’s Ray Allen floating around the Internet within minutes of Danny Green‘s fourth 3-point field goal Sunday in Game 5 of the 2013 Finals at the AT&T Center.

Danny Green's Game 5 shot chart

Danny Green’s Game 5 shot chart

It showed Allen — the NBA’s all-time 3-point champion and, until Sunday, the record holder for most “makes” from distance in a Finals series — rubbing his head and grimacing immediately after Green’s 3-pointer in transition put the Spurs up 66-60 at 9:40 of the third quarter.

Allen’s sour reaction had everything to do with Miami’s defense leaving Green unguarded yet again and little or nothing to do with the fact that it was Green’s 23rd 3-pointer of the series, which meant it was Allen’s record of 22 got eclipsed.

But the juxtaposition just added heft to what Green has been doing in this championship series, from its opening tip to San Antonio’s wire-to-wire 114-104 victory in Game 5 for a 3-2 edge.

A second-round draft pick, a scrub on LeBron James‘ last Cleveland team, a fellow who was cut twice by the Spurs before wising up and talking his way into another chance, has been pummeling the NBA’s defending champs at a record pace, right in the grill of the league’s 3-point king. Allen, who ranks No. 1 both in 3-pointers taken and made over his 17-year career, hit 22 of his 42 shots while spotted around the arc in the 2008 Finals for the Boston Celtics. That series lasted six games.

Green already has hit 25 on 38 attempts, and this one’s just five games old.

“Whether it’s this series or the last series or the series before, you need somebody to get hot and somebody to get lucky,” Green said, unable to suppress a smile as he closed out the postgame podium programming. “One night it will be Gary [Neal], the next night it will be Manu [Ginobili] and the next night it will be me.”

It has been Green every night so far in the series. That 25-for-38 success rate is 65.8 percent, and the coldest or unluckiest Green has been in any of the five games was in the opener (4-for-9). He was 7-for-9 in the Spurs’ Game 3 blowout victory and, after a 3-for-5 performance in their Game 4 loss, doubled up to go 6-for-10 against a team that values lethal perimeter shooting like few others.

Usually, coach Erik Spoelstra is on the other side of barrages such as Green’s. “That will be something that we have to correct,” he said, “and we’ve just got to do it better. Got to do it harder and be more committed. He’s getting some open looks and he’s making some contested looks. But the open looks are the ones that are killing us.”

At one point in Sunday’s game, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich told him he didn’t care how many shots the surprise marksman took. Here he is, first Finals, and already the kid’s name is Danny Green (Light).

“The whole season has made him more confident,” Popovich said of Green, whose 3-point attempts jumped from 234 in 2011-12 to 413 this season. “He’s been somebody that has gotten a lot of minutes, basically has a green light and when you do it for 82 games, the only thing left is to see if you do it when the real lights come on come playoff time.

“He’s pretty well answered that question.”

That has led to another one, one that could turn The Finals: Why isn’t Miami taking him away as such a deadly Spurs threat?

“I can’t believe he’s still open at this moment of this series,” teammate Tony Parker said. “They are still trapping me and doubling Timmy [Duncan], and Danny is wide open. If you’re going to leave Danny wide open, he’s going to make threes.”

OK, Heatles, why is Green doing what he’s doing?

“This is the kind of team that I feel capitalizes on any mistake you make,” Dwyane Wade said. “So if you’re a half-second late, they capitalize on it.”

Wade talked of Miami losing track of Green in transition; the Spurs push the ball, the Heat defenders backpedal and suddenly Green pops up in one of the corners before anyone can close out on him. Also, Parker’s penetration is forcing Miami to prioritize; it protects the paint and multiple perimeter shooters come open like buoys at low tide.

On the one that took Allen’s record, Green raced up and down the court in a frenzy, eager to make up for his forced pass to Duncan. He helped Ginobili get the ball away from Wade, then nailed the 3-pointer as if to make up for the turnover.

On his fifth 3-pointer that made it 78-74 late in the third, both Wade and Shane Battier lunged at him an instant too late.

“It is fun for it to go in and see the team’s reaction sometimes,” Green admitted.

Said Wade: “Give him credit, man. He’s knocking them down.”

A year ago, things were different. Green shot 4-for-23 from the arc (17.4 percent) in the West finals against Oklahoma City and got bumped from the starting lineup by Ginobili. Ginobili made a triumphant return to a starting spot Sunday, but Green had much to do with putting the triumph in it.

“He’s been unbelievable. Especially on this stage,” Duncan said. “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. I hope he doesn’t wake up.”

Said Parker: “You can’t stop everything. … If they’re going to still trap me and make sure I don’t get off or Timmy, I want to say, ‘Keep shooting, Danny.’ “

He might as well, with a couple of targets remaining that probably look as big and inviting as the industrial-sized rims at which he’s been shooting.

The NBA record for 3-pointers in a playoff series, any round, is 28. It’s shared by Allen, from his 28-of-55 long-distance performance for Milwaukee against Philadelphia back in the 2001 Eastern Conference finals, and Dennis Scott, who shot 28-of-65 in the East finals against Indiana in 1995.

Both of those series went seven games. If Green were to fall short of 28 for lack of a seventh game in this series, odds are he’d be fine with that.

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41 Comments

  1. Joseph says:

    I like how Danny Green gives God the glory for his ability. More people should be doing that!

  2. akuma says:

    Danny Green proves work ethic and hard work plus opportunity pays off.

  3. Loki says:

    Green keeps up this level of consistency and he’ll end up with a finals MvP of the spurs win.

  4. hipster says:

    I love how Green’s record-tying 22nd 3 pointer was right in the eye of Ray Allen. Not just in Allen’s face, but right in his eye!

    Son, you should have stayed in Boston!

  5. TTKIN says:

    He’s been amazing this season from distance, video game-like.

  6. Kevo says:

    Simon and J are just mad because the Heat aren’t “cruising” to a second championship.

    Spurs in 6.

  7. BBallFanNYC says:

    This kid embodies hard work. He has a chance now and he’s running w/it. He persevered, and is now on biggest stage of the NBA, making it rain on Miami. Go Danny Go!

  8. John says:

    Danny Green, breaks finals 3 pt record, wins finals mvp, spurs win 4-2,means I win a lot of money. GO SPURRRRRSSSSSS!

  9. krex says:

    Thats why Spoelstra isn’t coach of the year even with great 66-16 record and 27 straight’s.
    Pop is outplaying him like real NBA coach outplays high school level “coach”. IMO Spoelstra is weakest chain in whole Heat thing.

  10. David is All ball says:

    Danny Green has been the Cinderella story of this series and has made for excellent viewing. Congratulations Danny Green on your new NBA Finals record for 3-pointers, Danny. You deserve it and remain unwaveringly humble still in acknowledging your blessings.

  11. Boris says:

    the Heat will come back within these two games left..

  12. SM says:

    Miami bad defense in game 5 contributed in good shooting from Green and the rest of SA players

  13. Ronnie says:

    Danny Green is on a hot streak!!
    @Mary: are you kidding?! the whole heat team had the exact same look cos as hot as Green is they are still leaving him open!!

  14. DriveFerFive says:

    so, anybody want to talk about the too old, too slow, and too boring Spurs???

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Yeah they just lost to Miami in Overtime. And no road team in the finals has ever won a game 7 since 1978 so bye!

  15. Marco29 says:

    If Miami does not adjust and better defend the 3 point line, I would be suprised that Green does not tie or exceed the 28 record even if the series ends in 6 games. What is impressing is not only the number of made 3s but the high % coz Scott was under 50% and Allen just above. Green is above 68% which makes it even more impressive.
    It’s like many “records” in the NBA: all-time scorers (Kobe might be in 4th place but with the lower %) or winningest coach (several coaches have above 900 or 1000 wins but with a loosing record). The mark is important but the % is equally important.

  16. justine says:

    Miami should bring a firetruck inside the court in game 6

  17. Awesome team win in gm 5 Spurs-yet still need to stop/cut way down the turnovers. I knew Ginobiliiiiiiiiiii would get hot-now he’ll stay hot-making plays is when he’s @ his best. TP & TD can just keep being themselves & everyone else Leonard, Green-keep shooting, Neal & the rest all have the confidence & fortitude to finish the job & win the next gm!
    NOW GO TAKE GM 6!
    GO SPURS!
    SPURS ALL THE WAY!!!

  18. KINGKONGJAMES says:

    Wade cares more about his post and pre game outfits than the actual game.

  19. Jumppong says:

    Hard work Pays off.. keep it up Danny Green

  20. J says:

    ray allens face ha ha ha :D
    that was cool
    also dennis scott 28-65 thats 37 misses ouch too shot happy
    heat in 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. J says:

    ray allens face ha ha ha :D
    that was cool
    also dennis scott 28-65 thats 37 misses ouch to shot happy
    heat in 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Snuuga says:

    Where are Miami bandwagons??????????????

  23. Just1.Not2Not3Not4Not5Not6 says:

    If they keep focusing on Parker and Duncan and keep leaving Danny open. He will make the heat pay for it. He doesn’t need 7 games to beat that 28 (3’s) in any playoff series. It will be done on game 6. GO DANNY! GO SPURS GO!

  24. mattchew says:

    happy this young guy made a dream come true

  25. Art says:

    Danny is not only NBA’s finals all-time 3-point champion. He is very nice person. I wish him the best and hope that he will never play for a team like Miami. Look at Allen’s grimacing after Green’s 23rd 3-pointer. It’s not just sour reaction. His face was disgusting & awful. How he changed! Just a year ago Allen was one of the nicest players in NBA. Tell me who your teammates are…

    • Big Al says:

      How can you say that Green is a nice person? Have you met him? And it doesn’t make Allen a bad guy just because he reacted that way. Also, what loyalty are you talking about? After the Celtics got what they wanted, which was an instant championship, RayRay was amidst pretty much every trade talk. Wouldn’t he have felt used? Some logic you’ve got there, oh wait, what logic?

  26. lebron is lost. says:

    is lebron playing????????hehehe.where is he????????hehehehe

  27. nix says:

    Spurs’ performance will be fine after good rests. If one more day off before Game 6, they will win 4-2 almost for sure.

  28. Mary says:

    Did you see the look on Ray Allen’s face when Danny Green broke his record? Priceless!!

    San Antonio is the better team. They have better and smarter big 3. they have a better bench, better coach, better attitude,

    • simon says:

      and still, they will lose.

    • elias says:

      this look wasn’t a reaction to green breaking his record. i am sure allen had ni idea of the record anyway. but kudos to danny he’s been on an amazing steark i hope it continues and spurs wrap things up in game 6

    • simon says:

      HA! Who am I kidding. The Spurs will win the next game. The really a better team all around. They have a better defense, effciency, and consistency. The Heat play flop ball, case in point. LeBron, Chalmers, and Bosh have all been fined for flopping just recently. The Heat offense revolves around LeBron, they will lose. They are also a better looking group of guys also ;)

    • jon says:

      there were plenty times where green could have got a shot off and pulled back….. when green starts shooting its because hes hit 2 or 3 in a row and has that little nba 2k13 flam icon by his name, hes on fire. if he was locked down, sure he’d still get some shot off, but he wouldnt shoot more than 8 times a game if he were seriously contested at all times. danny green will be #41 on the list of players to retire with a 40+% from 3 in his career.. i say that because there are only 40 to do that, but there are a few that will do it before i.e. ray allen, so maybe #46 or something. he has one of the best forms in the game, is smart and knows his limits. you must be a hating heat fan to say this. i am a rockets fan and hate the spurs, but i hate the miami yankees even more, go spurs.

  29. Big Al says:

    For someone who has been cut thrice in the NBA to be allowed such shooting frequency is appalling. Green will fire whenever he wants, wherever he wants, so the real key is to lock him down at all costs.

    • Big G says:

      That’s one elitist comment right there. Do you mean you cannot stomach him MAKING all those shots? Well the guy must’ve been better than advertised. Enjoy the game!

    • xie says:

      It is a wonderful game ,Heatles play well ,except for the shot by JAMES at last .

    • T-Man says:

      How is it appaling to allow a 3-PT shooter a high shooting frequency when they are shooting 65.8% from downtown? He’s knocking his shots down and if the Heat are gonna double him he can give it to one of his usually more threatening team-mates eg: Parker, Duncan etc. I don’t see how u can drag on a guy for taking and making shots.

    • Billy says:

      Here’s the problem dude. If you defend Green, the Spurs big 3 have the go ahead to score now.

      Scratch your head on that one!

    • Mike says:

      Yeah. Nice game plan. Lock down Green at all costs. Forget about Ginobili, Parker, Duncan and Leonard. San Antonio is still waiting to present its trump card. As soon as the Heat crowd the perimeter, they’ll be quickly reminded that the Spurs’ biggest advantage is their interior game.