2017 NBA Finals: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

The Finals Stat: Game 5 -- Stephen Curry proves to be difference maker

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann

• Game 5: Full analysis, reactions

• Complete coverage of The Finals

OAKLAND — This time, the Golden State Warriors finished the job. With a 129-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of The Finals, the Warriors won their second championship in three years and avenged last year’s loss with a little help from Finals MVP Kevin Durant.

Durant was the star of stars again on Monday, scoring 39 points on 14-for-20 shooting. He averaged 35.2 points on an effective field goal percentage of 63.9 percent in The Finals.

NBA.com/Stats box score

One stat stood out as the Warriors finished the postseason with an unprecedented 16-1 record and the franchise’s fifth championship.

Game 5 basics

Pace: About 102 possessions per team per 48 minutes


OffRtg: 118.7 points scored per 100 possessions

eFG%: 59.7%

FTA/FGA: 0.261

TO%: 14.8%

OREB%: 29.3%


OffRtg: 126.1 points scored per 100 possessions

eFG%: 58.9%

FTA/FGA: 0.311

TO%: 12.7%

OREB%: 31.7%

eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions

OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained

The stat

245 — Points by which the Warriors outscored their opponents with Stephen Curry on the floor in the 2017 playoffs.

The context

That is the best raw postseason plus-minus in the *21 years since the stat has been tracked. Prior to this season, the highest mark belonged to Kobe Bryant, who was a plus-213 in the 2001 playoffs. Draymond Green (plus-227) also surpassed Bryant’s mark.

* Plus-minus goes back to the 1996-97 season, when the league started tracking play-by-play data and could separate stats for when a player is on or off the floor.

Thanks to their Game 4 loss on Friday, the Warriors’ point differential of plus-13.5 points per game fell short of the all-time record (plus-14.5 by the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks). But Curry’s plus-minus is a display of their postseason dominance.

It’s also a display of how important Curry is to the champs, even if he’s not the leading scorer. The attention he draws on offense makes things easier on every one of his teammates. LeBron James became the first player to average a triple-double in The Finals and Curry wasn’t that far behind, with averages of 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 9.4 assists. He had more than twice as many secondary assists (15) as any other player in the series and assisted Durant on 20 of his 60 baskets, with the Warriors using a heavy dosage of Curry/Durant pick-and-rolls in Game 5.

Curry also had the best raw plus-minus (plus-1,015) in the regular season by a margin of almost 200. The Warriors were 15.5 points per 100 possessions better offensively with Curry on the floor (when they scored 118.1 per 100) than they were with him on the bench (102.4). That was the biggest on-off-court OffRtg differential among players who logged at least 1,000 minutes.

In the playoffs, the Warriors were 27.2 points per 100 possessions better offensively with Curry on the floor (123.1) than they were with him on the bench (95.9). He played 473 (79 percent) of his 601 postseason minutes with Durant also on the floor, but the Warriors were better offensively with Curry on and Durant off (117.2 points scored per 100 possessions) than they were with Durant on and Curry off (104.1).

The two-time regular season MVP doesn’t have a Finals MVP after three straight trips to the championship round. But he remains the triple threat (able to shoot, drive or pass) that drives one of the best offenses in NBA history.

More numbers

The Finals: Traditional | Advanced | 4 factors | Players | Player shooting | Lineups

Warriors playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Players | Player shooting | Lineups

Cavs playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Players | Player shooting | Lineups

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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