Danny Green’s potential game-winning shot at the top of the 3-point line fell short, but the team remained confident in the veteran sharpshooter on the heels of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 111-108 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“It’s one of the best shots that we could have got, I feel, in that fourth quarter; especially down the stretch with two guys on me,” LeBron James said. “Danny had a hell of a look. It just didn’t go down. I know he wish he could have it again. I wish I could make a better pass. But you just live with it.”
Green entered Game 5 ranked among the leaders (7th) in 3-point field goals made (54) in the NBA Finals, and had knocked down 2 of 4 from deep earlier in the night before squaring up for his potential game-winner with 7.1 seconds left to play.
> Finals Game 6: Lakers vs. Heat, Sunday at 7:30 ET on ABC
Jimmy Butler connected on a pair of free throws to give Miami a 109-108 lead with 16.8 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, James brought the ball up court and drove to the basket, drawing in Butler and Duncan Robinson. James quickly launched a pass backward to a wide-open Green standing at the top of the 3-point line.
“I mean, if you just look at the play, I was able to draw two defenders below the free-throw line and find one of our shooters at the top of the key for a wide-open 3 to win a championship,” James said. “I trusted him, we trusted him, and it just didn’t go. You live with that.”
Added Lakers coach Frank Vogel: “Yeah, [James] was ready to take on the whole team. He had two guys on him. A third defender came and so with three guys on you, he made the right play. Danny is one of our best shooters, he had a great look, and we live with the results.
Green’s shot bounced off the front of the rim, but Markieff Morris gobbled up the rebound with 5.5 ticks left to give the Lakers another chance. Morris could’ve thrown the ball back to Green, who was unguarded after missing the shot. But Morris floated a pass over the head of Anthony Davis posted up under the basket, and the ball flew out of bounds to give Miami possession with 2.2 seconds remaining.
“This one, it was a little bit of luck that Danny Green missed that shot at the key,” said Butler, who scored a team-high 35 points for the Heat.
The teams meet again on Sunday for Game 6 with the Lakers leading the best-of-seven-series 3-2.
“We got a hell of a look to win the game, to win the series,” James said. [It] didn’t go down. And then we got the offensive rebound, we turned the ball over. I thought we had a lot more time than I think we even thought after the offensive rebound, and a pass wasn’t executed as we would like. But we’ve got to be better. We’ve just got to be better in Game 6 and close the series.”