The Warriors completed the sweep on Friday, defeating the Cavaliers in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals by a final score of 108-85. Stephen Curry scored a game-high 37 points for Golden State, but Kevin Durant, who finished the night with a 20-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist triple-double, was named Finals MVP for the second time in his career. LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
From Durant's midrange efficiency to the disappearance of LeBron's jump shot in the series, here are five stats you need to know from the 2018 NBA Finals.
53.3: Kevin Durant's shooting percentage on 2-point pull-ups
More than a third of Durant's shot attempts in the NBA Finals were 2-point pull-ups, and he converted over half of those opportunities.
As a 7-footer with a 7-4 wingspan, there's not much the defense can do to stop Durant when he gets into a rhythm from midrange. The Cavaliers experimented with putting different defenders on him throughout the series, but the four-time scoring champion had an answer almost every time.
He took smaller players like George Hill and JR Smith to the post and put the lateral quickness of Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. to the test by drawing them out to the 3-point line.
Durant also drained five 3-point pull-ups on 14 attempts in the series, his dagger in Game 3 being the most memorable. He went on to win back-to-back Finals MVPs with averages of 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.3 blocks per game.
70: How many shots Draymond Green contested
According to NBA.com, Green contested a series-high 43 2-point shots and 27 3-point shots in the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers made 49.0 percent of those 2-pointers (5.4 percent worse than average) and 22.2 percent of those 3-pointers (15.5 percent worse than average).
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year also had 49 box outs, 18 deflections and eight steals, all of which were figures nobody else could match.
In other words, Green continues to be the heart and soul of the scariest defense in the league.
25.5: How many points the Warriors' bench scored per game
The Warriors' bench only averaged 1.2 more points per game than the Cavaliers' reserves in the NBA Finals. The difference was Golden State's second unit was far more efficient, making 57.1 percent of its field goal attempts in the series compared to 35.1 percent on Cleveland's side.
Shaun Livingston and Jordan Bell led the charge for the Warriors off the bench with a combined 53 points on 23-for-29 shooting from the field. Livingston did the bulk of his damage in Games 1 and 2, and Bell gave the Warriors a much-needed spark in Game 3 when the Cavaliers aggressively trapped Curry in pick-and-rolls.
With Green attacking downhill and Bell looming in the paint, it put the Cavaliers' rim protectors in a pick-your-poison situation.
25.4: The Cavs' 3-point percentage on passes from LeBron
The Cavaliers made 136 field goals when James was on the court in the 2018 NBA Finals. He scored 49 of those himself and assisted on another 40, meaning he assisted on nearly half of his teammates' baskets.
What's crazier is LeBron should have had a lot more assists. According to NBA.com, the Cavaliers made 43.2 percent of their shot attempts set up by James in the NBA Finals, including a disastrous 25.4 percent from 3-point range. Many of those attempts were wide open looks taken by capable outside shooters.
|LeBron pass to...||2FGM||2FGA||2FG%||3FGM||3FGA||3FG%|
|Larry Nance Jr.||3||7||42.9||0||0||0|
In total, the Cavaliers made 9.0 3-pointers per game in the NBA Finals at a 29.5 percent clip. In the regular season, those numbers stood at 12.0 and 37.2, respectively.
28.6: LeBron's shooting percentage outside the paint in Games 2-4
If you're wondering how the hand injury James suffered in the aftermath of Game 1 might have impacted his play, look no further than the disappearance of his jump shot.
In Game 1, when he scored an incredible 51 points, LeBron shot 3-for-6 on 2-point pull-ups and 3-for-6 on 3-point pull-ups. In Games 2-4 combined, he shot 2-for-8 on 2-point pull-ups and 1-for-9 on 3-point pull-ups. While he was still his efficient self at the rim (64.7 percent in the restricted area), the outside jump shot he used to take down the Pacers, Raptors and Celtics in the previous rounds wasn't there in the final three games of the NBA Finals, both in terms of efficiency and volume.
With his teammates struggling to make outside jump shots as well, it made it easier for the Warriors to pack the paint whenever LeBron made a move to the basket. He still averaged 34.0 points, 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game in the series, but it ultimately wasn't enough to beat the best team in the league.