Spurs' Green reacts after a three point basket against the Heat during Game 2 of their NBA Finals basketball playoff in Miami

Danny Green shoots 5-for-5 on 3-pointers in historic performance


Asked after Game 1 how Danny Green had progressed since they played together for the Cavaliers, LeBron James responded, “Is that a serious question?”

You can bet LeBron will get more questions now about his former Cleveland teammate, and now he’ll know they’re serious.

Green shot 5-for-5 on 3-pointers and 6-for-6 overall to lead the Spurs with 17 points during their 103-84 loss to the Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. He set an NBA Finals record for 3-pointers made without a miss in a single game, besting the 4-for-4 marks of Paul Pierce (2008) and Scott Wedman (1985). Green also tied Robert Horry’s franchise record with five 3-pointers made in a Finals game.

Tony Parker assisted three of Green’s 3s, and Kawhi Leonard assisted another in transition. But this wasn’t just a limited role player standing in the corner waiting for his teammates to make plays for him. Green also made a 3-pointer off the dribble while running a pick-and-roll, and he even blocked a LeBron shot.

Green and Parker are the only two Spurs to score double digits in both Finals games. Not bad for a player the Spurs cut twice because he didn’t bring consistent effort.

By leading San Antonio in scoring, Green joined even more elite company. In the last four years, onlyLeBron, Parker,Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jason Terry,Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen,Kevin Garnettand Pau Gasol had led a team in scoring during the Finals before tonight.

Green – a second-round pick in 2009 and a small piece of the Cavaliers teams LeBron deemed not good enough – didn’t help his new team best his old teammate, but he sure delivered a game to remember.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Can Thunder win 60 games?

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Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?

The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.

I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”