Hakeem did it with Sleepy Floyd in 88 and Clyde Drexler in 95. 5 years later, Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose did it in 2000. On Monday, 16 years since the last occurrence, teammates Kyrie Irving and LeBron James scored 40+ points in the same game. What makes the duo's 41 a piece in game 5 even more impressive is it was the first time in NBA history a duo pulled it off during the NBA Finals.
The duo tore apart the Draymond-less defense of the Warriors in Game 5 and despite the complaints of a certain wife of a certain Warrior who only made 5 of 14 3-pointers and was helpless guarding Irving, they did it without the help of the refs.
"It's probably one of the greatest performances I've ever seen live," Said LeBron about Irving's 17 of 24 (5 of 7 from 3) shooting performance.
It's a statement Jeff Van Gundy and many other witnesses will agree with; It's also a statement many said about LeBron's individual performance: 41 points (16-30 fg, 4-8 3pt), 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and just 2 turnovers.
"Now, mind you, to repeat a performance like this would definitely be tough, but whatever it takes to win." Irving said.
It's unlikely the Cavs Big 3 minus 1 will be able to duplicate these numbers in Game 6 so let's take a deeper look at just how special and historic their numbers were in Game 5.
- LeBron & Irving scored or assisted on 97 points. The Warriors scored a total of 97 points.
- LeBron & Irving outscored the Warriors 39-36 in the 2nd half.
- LeBron & Irving's 82 points were the most by 2 teammates when facing elimination in a finals game.
- LeBron passed Michael Jordan (173) for most postseason games with 20 points.
- LeBron becomes the 2nd player in the last 30 years to put up 40 points and 15 boards in a finals game. Shaq has done it 3 times.
- LeBron is the 1st player with 40 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in a finals games since Shaq in 2001.
- LeBron has the highest PPG average (32.4) when facing a elimination game in postseason history. Jordan is 2nd with 31.3.
- LeBron is the 3rd player with 40 points and 15 boards in a Finals game when facing elimination. Wilt and Elgin Baylor are the other 2.
Stats by Elias Sports & ESPN Stats & Info