NBA Finals: Thunder’s Durant, Westbrook join legendary duos with Game 1 scoring outburst

Oklahoma City Thunder logo

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not only outscored the whole Miami Heat team by themselves in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 1 win, but the high-scoring duo from Oklahoma City also joined an elite group of teammates that have scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game.

Durant had 36 points and Westbrook had 27 making them the first teammates in eight years to both score 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game. The last duo to accomplish this feat were the Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on June 8, 2004.

Miami’s LeBron James had 30 points in last night’s game, making it the first NBA Finals game since the June 8, 2004 game mentioned above that three players scored 27 or more points. (Detroit’s Chauncey Billups had 27 points in the Pistons loss to the Lakers in that game.) Three players scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game eight times since 1986.

Going back to 1986, there have been 17 sets of teammates that scored 27 or more points in a NBA Finals game. The last set of teammates to score 27+ in a finals game and their team lose was in 1998 when the Bulls Toni Kukoc (30) and Michael Jordan (28) lost to Utah.

Following are the teammates that scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game since 1986.

Date, Team, teammates with 27+ points

June 12, 2012: Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant (36), Russell Westbrook (27)

June 8, 2004: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (33), Shaquille O’Neal (29)

June 9, 2002: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (36), Shaquille O’Neal (35)

June 10, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (32), Shaquille O’Neal (30)

June 8, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (31), Shaquille O’Neal (28)

June 14, 2000: L.A. Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal 36, Kobe Bryant (28)

June 12, 1998: Chicago, Toni Kukoc (30), Michael Jordan (28)

June 10, 1998: Chicago, Michael Jordan (34), Scottie Pippen (28)

June 1, 1997: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)

June 9, 1995: Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal (33), Penny Hardaway (32)

June 9, 1995: Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon (34), Sam Cassell (31)

June 9, 1993: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)

June 12, 1991: Chicago, Scottie Pippen (32), Michael Jordan (30)

June 12, 1990: Portland, Clyde Drexler (34), Jerome Kersey (33)

June 7, 1987: L.A. Lakers, Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27)

June 2, 1987: L.A. Lakers, James Worthy (33), Magic Johnson (29)

June 8, 1986: Boston, Larry Bird (29), Kevin McHale (29)

Did you know? The last time two sets of teammates scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game was June 9, 1995 when Orlando’s O’Neal (33) and Hardaway (32) lost to the Rockets Olajuwon (34) and Cassell (31).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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