LeBron James scored 44 points in Game One of the NBA Finals last Thursday in his team’s 108-100 loss to Golden State. Here’s six stats you may not know about players who scored 40 or more points in an NBA Finals game that their team lost.
1. James’ 44 points were the second most for a player in the NBA Finals in a game his team lost. Jerry West twice had 45 points in an NBA Finals game that his Lakers lost. He did it April 19, 1965 in a loss to the Celtics; he also did it one year later on April 22, 1966 in a title series game loss to those same Celtics.
2. The last player to score 40-plus points in an NBA Finals game loss was on June 19, 2012 when Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 43 against Miami in a thunder defeat.
3. A player from the losing team in an NBA Finals game has scored 40-plus points 16 times since 1964 (records from basketball-reference.com). Three players did it multiple times: Jerry West did it four times; Rick Barry and Michael Jordan each did it twice. These three players each did it twice in the same series; Barry in 1967, West in 1969 and Jordan in 1993.
4. Youngest player to accomplish this feat was Barry (23 years and 23 days)… oldest was West (30 years and 342 days).
5. Of the 16 times a player scored 40+points in an NBA Finals game loss, nine happened at home, seven in an away game.
6. The Boston Celtics were the opponent that won in four of these 16 games; Philadelphia was the opponent three times.
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