After an entire season of slams, ankle-breakers, and buzzer-beaters, the NBA comes to a rousing conclusion as the machine-like San Antonio Spurs finish off the worn and weary Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals, 104-87.
For the Spurs, it was sweet, sweet redemption after letting last year's Finals slip away. In their victories, the San Antonio squad showed their vengeful resolve as they handed out blowouts, and made the two-time defending champs look like a practice squad.
The victory marks the franchise's fifth NBA championship. So how did the Spurs do it? We saw the passing, the unselfishness, and the great three-point barrages, but now, let's look at the numbers and stats that shaped the 2014 NBA Finals!
22 Years And 350 Days: Kawhi's Age
Leonard is now the third-youngest Finals MVP in NBA history behind only Magic Johnson, who won the award at 20 and 22 years of age.
Kawhi nabs the third spot from his teammate Tim Duncan, who won the award when he led the Spurs to its first championship in 1999. Guess how old Kawhi was then? He was seven, probably eating his cereals, having no idea that he'd someday be a Spur, a champ, and for one day, crowned as the best player in the world.
It almost didn't happen. Kawhi started the series flat, averaging nine points, two rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal per game for the first two games. Incidentally, Games 1 and 2 were the most competitive of the entire series, with the Heat nearly pulling off a Game 1 upset if not for silly cramps, and successfully doing it with a two-point Game 2 thriller.
And then Kawhi finally broke through in Game 3:
In the last three games, Kawhi was an absolute monster: 23.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, two steals, and two blocks per game with an overall FG clip of 68 percent, and three-point accuracy of 54 percent. We'd gladly take that on our fantasy team.
Along with stellar defense on LeBron, Leonard's numbers pummeled the Heat to submission...and forced Durant to think about who the real MVP is:
3: The number of decades that old fella Tim Duncan, all 38 years of him, has a championship trophy from
That makes him the second player in history to achieve such a feat after John Salley, who won in 1989 and 1990 with the Bad Boy Pistons, in 1996 with the Bulls, and in 2000 with the Lakers.
Duncan nabbed the last trophy from the past century (1999), stockpiled them in the 2000s (2003, 2005, 2007), and just a few hours ago—in the twilight of his career—managed to add a fifth one in his third decade as a pro.
Duncan's stats from the first championship were 27.4 points, 14 rebounds per game: