SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Danny Green once wasn’t good enough to be on the same team as LeBron James.
Now he’s a big reason why the MVP’s chances of a second consecutive championship are in serious trouble.
Green set a Finals record with 25 3-pointers against the Miami Heat.
He finished with 24 points and went 6 of 10 from long range in Game 5, and the San Antonio Spurs are one win away from their first title since 2007 with a 114-104 win Sunday night.
Deemed too raw and unpolished to remain on the roster with James and Cleveland three years ago, Green now has a record on the NBA’s biggest stage.
“I never thought in a million years I’d have this record. But there’s still some business to be done,” Green said.
He is 25 for 38 from long range in the Finals, having hit at least four 3-pointers in every game against Miami except one.
Green set the mark playing against Ray Allen, who hit 22 3-pointers while helping Boston win its most recent title in 2008.
Yet even Allen — the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers — didn’t shoot with this kind of precision in the Finals. Allen, who plays for the Heat and has 11 3s this series, shot 52 percent in that six-game win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Green still has at least one game left to add to his total. Game 6 is Tuesday night in Miami.
The Spurs edged Miami in Game 1 and must win another to hoist a fifth championship in the Tim Duncan era.
The leading scorer for the Spurs in the series is Green, whom coach Gregg Popovich cut twice before the former North Carolina star finally won him over and he found an NBA home last season.
“When you do it for 82 games, the only thing left is to see if you can do it when the real lights come on in playoff time,” Popovich said. “He’s pretty much answered that question.”
Green is averaging 18 points against the Heat. That’s nearly eight points higher than Green’s average during the season, when he was the Spurs’ fifth-leading scorer.
Now the 25-year-old has emerged as the unlikely key for the Spurs.
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