Monday, 22 Jul 2024

The Finals Stat, Game 5: Warriors Shoot from Deep to Stay Alive

Warriors vs Raptors

The Golden State Warriors managed to keep their championship hopes alive in an intense Game 5 against the Toronto Raptors. Despite facing a 14-point deficit and being down by six points with less than three minutes remaining, the Warriors made a remarkable comeback, winning the game 106-105.

The game was full of ups and downs for the Warriors. They had to overcome Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury, which occurred just 12 minutes into his return after a month-long absence. Additionally, Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors mounted a 12-2 run in the fourth quarter that posed a significant threat. However, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led the charge with a combined 57 points, and DeMarcus Cousins made a valuable offensive contribution off the bench, scoring 14 points in less than 20 minutes.

One standout statistic played a crucial role in securing a win for the Warriors and forcing a Game 6 at the Oracle Arena.

The Stat: 20 – 3-Pointers Made by the Warriors in Game 5.

The context surrounding this statistic highlights the Warriors’ dominance from beyond the arc. While the Raptors outscored the Warriors in the paint, from the free-throw line, and in mid-range shots, the Warriors excelled in the 3-point shooting category. The final score in 3-pointers made was an impressive 60-32 in favor of the Warriors.

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The Warriors’ 20 3-pointers tied for the second-most in NBA Finals history, trailing only the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 24 made 3-pointers in Game 4 of the 2017 Finals. Moreover, the Warriors, known for their exceptional shooting, had never made more than 18 3-pointers in any of their previous 26 Finals games.

In Game 4 of this series, the Warriors made a disappointing eight 3-pointers, tying their lowest number of made 3-pointers in 27 Finals games over the past five years. They rebounded in Game 5, making more than twice as many 3-pointers as before, a testament to their resilience and the significance they place on the long-range shooting game.

The Warriors’ success from beyond the arc began early in the game when Curry, Durant, and Thompson made some crucial shots. Curry connected on the Warriors’ first possession, Durant made consecutive 3-pointers, and Thompson added two of his own.

Thompson continued his stellar shooting, going 7-for-13 from beyond the arc in Game 5 and an astounding 20-for-35 in the Finals. Curry, although not as accurate, managed to contribute with five 3-pointers. Additionally, Green and Iguodala ended their shooting slumps, making key 3-pointers to support the team.

Ultimately, it was Curry and Thompson who hit the three most critical shots of the night. Down by six points with less than three minutes remaining, Curry drew attention from two defenders, allowing Thompson to step into an open shot and reducing the Raptors’ lead to three points. Two possessions later, Curry managed to create space from a double-screen and made a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game. Finally, an extra pass from Iguodala led to another Thompson 3-pointer, giving the Warriors the lead.

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This 9-0 scoring run changed the course of the game and potentially the series. Despite some turnovers in the final moments, the Warriors held on to secure the win and send the Finals back to Oakland for Game 6.

While the Warriors’ percentage of shots from beyond the arc ranks seventh among playoff teams, their ability to deliver in crucial moments underscores the importance of their 3-point shooting.

The Basics

Team Points Possessions OffRtg eFG% FTA/FGA TO% OREB%
GSW 106 93 114.0 58.5 0.171 17.2 24.4
TOR 105 95 110.5 49.4 0.318 13.7 35.3

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions

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

TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions

OREB% = % of available offensive rebounds obtained

More Numbers


John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter.

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