LeBron's historic effort brings another title
June, 21, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information
LeBron James hit big shots from the outside with consistency in Game 7.
It lacked an epic ending, but Game 7 of the NBA Finals proved to be both highly entertaining and riveting down the stretch.
The Miami Heat were a few shots better than the San Antonio Spurs. And the difference was that the best player on the floor made the big shots when it counted most.
Let's run through some of the statistical highlights.
Heat go back-to-back
The Heat become the second team in five seasons to win back-to-back titles, joining the 2009-10 Lakers. It marks the 12th time in NBA history that a team won consecutive titles.
The Heat are the third team in NBA history to win Game 7 in the conference finals and NBA Finals in the same season ('62 Celtics, '88 Lakers).
They are also the third team in NBA history to win the NBA title without leading the NBA Finals at any point in the series until after Game 7 ('69 Celtics, '78 Bullets).
LeBron does too
LeBron James won his second NBA title and joins Bill Russell and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to win back-to-back regular-season MVPs and NBA titles.
He joined Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Hakeem Olajuwon as players who won back-to-back NBA Finals MVPs (O’Neal and Jordan won three straight, with Jordan doing so twice).
James is now 3-0 in Game 7s with the Heat after losing both of his Game 7s with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat’s Big Three are now 5-1 all-time in elimination games.
The Elias Sports Bureau noted that James tied the record for most points in a Game 7 NBA Finals win, matching the mark set by Tom Heinsohn for the Boston Celtics in 1957.
James had a rough series outside the paint through the first six games, making only 21 of 62 shots. But in Game 7, he was able to hit from the outside repeatedly, including the basket that made it a two-possession game inside of 30 seconds to play.
The last word on James: He averaged 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the series. The only other player to average 25-10-7 in an NBA Finals series was James in 2012.
Unsung Star: Shane Battier
Shane Battier made six 3-pointers in Game 7, tying the record for most 3-pointers made in any Game 7. Tim Hardaway made six against the Knicks in the 1997 Eastern Conference semifinals and Joe Johnson made six against the Heat in the first round in 2009.
Another Ring for Riley
Heat president Pat Riley has now been a part of nine championship teams. He won six as a coach (five as a head coach), two as an executive, and one as a player (in 1972 with the Lakers).
Spurs finally beaten
The Spurs suffer their first NBA Finals series loss after winning their previous four.
They fall to 3-5 all-time in postseason Game 7s and lose back-to-back games for the first time this postseason.
The Spurs got 24 points from Tim Duncan, but Tony Parker and Danny Green both struggled, shooting a combined 4-for-24.
Parker's issues are noted in the chart on the right. Green was 1-for-12 from the field. He was 2-for-19 in the final two games of this series after shooting 57 percent from the field in the first five games.
Elias noted that Green became the second player to take 12 or more shots in Game 7 of a NBA Finals and make one or fewer. The other, Dennis Johnson (1978 Seattle SuperSonics) went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career after going 0-for-14 from the field in a loss to the Washington Bullets.
It’s the first time the Spurs lost consecutive games in which all three members of their Big Three played since last Dec. 12-13.
Home teams are now 15-3 all-time in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, with six straight wins. The last road team to win was the 1978 Bullets over the SuperSonics.