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Spurs forward Tim Duncan was stunned by that assertion.

“I don’t know how to answer that question,” Duncan said. “I will know that when they stand in front of us if that be the case, but as of right now they are still the defending champs and the best team in the regular season.”

Wade dismissed a lot of those notions with 21 points and nine rebounds Monday night to lead Miami to its third consecutive NBA Finals.

“He’s an All-Star,” Green said of Wade. “I don’t think it surprises anyone what he’s capable of doing. He obviously hasn’t been shooting as well, and neither has Chris bosh, but we know what they’re capable of. Any given night they can come out and give a game like that.

“Good players do big things on big stages. We expected them to do that last night and we expect them to come out in the Finals and be playing their best basketball.”

The Heat swept the regular season series with the Spurs, but both games don’t mean much. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich sent Duncan, Green, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili home rather than have them travel to Miami to play the second night of a back-to-back on Nov. 29. The Spurs were fined $250,000 by the NBA for the decision.

Miami returned the favor by sitting James and Wade on March 21 in San Antonio.

Still, the Spurs could have a leg up on the advance scouting against James and the Heat since the Pacers have a similar roster and defensive strategy.

“It’s basketball, so it’s not grossly different,” Popovich said. “There are some things that we might emphasize or not emphasize as much as Indiana did just because we’re a different team. Everybody is going to do things a little differently, but a lot of the things that we all do are similar.”