LeBron James' Game 5 performance and Jimmy Butler's game-winning triple-doubles in this year's NBA Finals are some of the greatest individual performances in history. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 individual performances in the NBA Finals from the 21st century.
Top 10 individual performances in the NBA Finals from the 21st century
Performing well in the regular season and the early rounds of the NBA Playoffs is a task in itself, but reaching a high level of play in the NBA Finals is proof of greatness, impressive individual skills, and mental toughness.
Without further ado, let us get started with the top 10 individual performances in the NBA Finals from the 21st century
#10 Allen Iverson - 2001 NBA Finals, Game 1
The Philadelphia 76ers were clear underdogs against the almighty 2001 Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant made it to the NBA Finals with an unbeaten run through the first three rounds of the playoffs, but Allen Iverson had something to say about their perfect run.
Counting the last eight games of the regular season, the Lakers reached the NBA Finals with a 19-game winning streak. However, Iverson's 48 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals put an end to that historical run.
The Lakers went on to win the NBA Finals in five games, but Iverson's performance, including his "step over" Tyronn Lue when sealing the game in OT will always be remembered by NBA fans.
#9 Tim Duncan - 2003 NBA Finals, Game 6
Tim Duncan is not known for being a stats guy, but his numbers were always great in the biggest stage of the NBA. In the 2003 NBA Finals, Duncan's second run to a championship, the San Antonio Spurs clashed with the New Jersey Nets and Duncan took over.
In Game 6, with the Spurs looking to close the series, Duncan had one of the best performances ever in an NBA Finals game as he got close to an unprecedented quadruple double in the title-deciding series. This is how Duncan's stat line for the game looked: 21 points (9/19 FG), 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocks in more than 45 minutes.
The Spurs won the second title in franchise history after their 1999 success, and Duncan grabbed his second NBA Finals MVP in just his sixth season. For the entire series, Duncan averaged 24 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 blocks in the six-game NBA Finals series.