NBA Tar Heels Update: Danny Green and the Lakers Advance to the NBA Finals With 117-107 Game 5 Victory Over the Nuggets
With 4:35 left in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets cut the Lakers’ lead to four points (103-99) on a Nikola Jokic old-fashioned three-point play. On the very next play, Tar Heel alum Danny Green hit a dagger three-pointer to push the lead back to seven. The Nuggets would never get any closer, allowing the Lakers to close out the game (and the series) with a 117-107 victory.
After the Green three, LeBron James scored the next nine points for the Lakers before Anthony Davis finished off the scoring with two free throws. James is now on to his 10 career trip to the NBA Finals where he will seek his fourth championship.
This will be Green’s fourth NBA Finals since his graduation from UNC in 2009. All four trips to the Finals have come in pairs of two. Green and his Spurs teammates went to the Finals in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the Spurs lost to the Heat, 4-3 (the only time Green has made the Finals and lost). The next year they got redemption on took home the championship against the Heat, 4-1. The 2014 championship was the last for Tim Duncan.
Last year, as a member of the Toronto Raptors, Green brought home his second NBA championship with a 4-2 series win over the Warriors.
If the Lakers were to win this year, Green would join Mitch Kupchak (3), James Worthy (3), Scott Williams (3), and Michael Jordan (6) as the only Tar Heels to win three or more NBA Championships.
Green was not the only Tar Heel connection in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals: LeBron James became just the second Laker to ever have 30+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 10+ assists in a playoff game. The first to do it? Tar Heel James Worthy in 1988.
The Lakers advance to play the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals, either the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics. The Heat lead the series 3-2 and the next game is Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The NBA Finals will likely start on Wednesday, September 30 or Friday, October 2, depending on if the Eastern Conference Finals goes six games or seven.
Western Conference Finals Danny Green Stat Lines
- Game 1: 23 min, 8 pts, 3-10 FG, 1-4 3FG, 1-1 FT, 5 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk, +20 +/-
- Game 2: 28 min, 11 pts, 4-14 FG, 3-10 3FG, 5 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk, +10 +/-
- Game 3: 20 min, 4 pts, 1-4 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-2 FT, 4 reb, 1 ast, -3 +/-
- Game 4: 21 min, 3 pts, 1-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 3 reb, +12 +/-
- Game 5: 28 min, 11 pts, 3-7 FG, 2-4 3FG, 3-4 FT, 0 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk, +6 +/-
Western Conference Finals Game Results
- Game 1: 126-114 Lakers
- Game 2: 105-103 Lakers
- Game 3: 114-106 Nuggets
- Game 4: 114-108 Lakers
- Game 5: 117-107 Lakers
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