Basketball / Sports

Spurs' Danny Green once again off to fast start in Finals

SAN ANTONIO -- The motto has always been the same for San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green when it comes to shooting the basketball.

Just keep doing it until the shots start to fall.

"You can't think about the last shot," Green said. "You just think about the next one."

That thinking proved effective for Green against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. After missing his first five shots, he recovered to score 11 points in a two-minute stretch that helped the Spurs capture a 110-95 victory.

"The first half, I struggled," Green said. "I think I kind of rushed it a little bit. I got a little excited, a little antsy. ... I knew I had to take my time. If I'm not open, don't force it. Just get back to the basics."

Green finished with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, but it was his fourth-quarter play that was most important. He made three 3-pointers and had a breakaway dunk that allowed the Spurs to take control.

"That's what he does, you know," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Green's shooting. "That's his major skill. If he's not going to do that, then we might as well play somebody else."

The fourth quarter was reminiscent of what the Heat saw from Green about 12 months ago. During last year's Finals, he made a record 25 3-pointers in the series.

"Every timeout, I was screaming at him and encouraging him," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "I'm very proud of him because you never know when he's going to (start making shots)."

BETTER CONDITIONS: Players and fans will no longer have to experience the uncomfortable feeling from Game 1.

The San Antonio Spurs announced Friday they have repaired the air-conditioning system at AT&T Center that malfunctioned during the first game of the series. Temperatures reached 88 degrees in the arena.

The situation was caused by an electrical failure.

"The AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored," the Spurs said in a statement.

Heat forward LeBron James was a casualty of the malfunction. He missed the final four minutes of the game because of severe cramping.

"We apologize for the conditions in the arena during last night's game," the statement read.

DUNCAN SYMPATHY: Spurs forward Tim Duncan could relate to James' pain.

He said he experienced a similar cramping situation against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference finals. Duncan had 41 points and 15 rebounds in the Spurs' 119-111 overtime loss.

"I was cramping up the entire fourth (quarter) and overtime," Duncan said. "Ever since then I've just stayed more hydrated than usually, just tried to attack it before it gets to that point. And luckily I've had a couple of times where I've cramped up since then, but for the most part I've been able to stay away from it."

For the most part, the Spurs were sympathetic to James. Many outsiders believed he could have continued instead of sitting the final 3:59.

"There is no shaking it off," Duncan said. "Your body is shutting down and you're unable to move. Whatever is cramping, you're unable to get away from that. It's easy to say to shake it off, but once it's gotten to that point it's hard to reverse in a short period of time."

James was the subject of media and fan criticism. The Internet was especially unkind to James, with social-media sites buzzing with critics.

"It's going to happen," Green said. "It comes with the territory. It comes with the business because he's the best in the world. I'm sure he'll use it as a motivation and come back even stronger mentally and tougher physically in Game 2.

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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