There’s simply no getting around the fact that Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is one of the greatest players in NBA Finals history. He’s appeared in the title series in nearly half the seasons he’s been in the league. He’s in the top 30 in the number of NBA Finals games played. And he’s in the top 12 in both total points and assists and the top 10 in scoring average.
So let’s take a quick look at Stephen Curry’s five best performances in the NBA Finals.
5. 2019 — Game 3 vs. Toronto Raptors
This is the only entry on the list that came in a losing effort. But it’s not as if we can keep Curry’s career-high performance off a list of his best NBA Finals games.
With the 2019 Finals between the Warriors and Raptors tied at one game apiece, Golden State had to play the pivotal third game without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, who were both out with injuries. Curry did his best to keep the Dubs in it, scoring 47 points on 14-for-31 shooting with six 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough.
Toronto won easily, 123-109, and took the series in six games. An honorable mention on this list would undoubtedly be Steph’s performance in Game 5, in which he scored 31 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists to keep the Warriors in the series.
4. 2017 — Game 5 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Some might not include Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals on this particular list, perhaps because of what Kevin Durant and LeBron James did that night. But given what happened a year earlier, I thought it warranted inclusion. And it truly was an incredible performance from Stephen Curry.
The Warriors took a commanding 3-0 series lead in their third straight NBA Finals matchup with the Cavaliers, winning by an average of 15.3 points. However, LeBron & Co. got a lopsided victory of their own in Game 4, 137-116, in which Curry scored a series-low 14 points, hitting just four of 13 shots from the floor.
But he came back strong in Game 5 and ensured Golden State didn’t blow a second straight 3-1 lead. Curry went 10-for-20 from the floor and 12-for-15 from the foul line for 31 points and added 10 assists as the Warriors closed out the series with a 129-120 victory.
3. 2016 — Game 4 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Speaking of that 3-1 lead the Warriors blew in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cavs, the reason they had that in the first place was behind an incredible performance from Curry in Game 4.
After averaging just 16 points over the first three games, the two-time NBA MVP exploded in Game 4, scoring 38 points, then a career-high in the NBA Finals. Of Curry’s 11 made field goals, seven were from beyond the arc. He also added six assists, five boards, and a pair of steals in the 108-97 win.
The rest of that series was the LeBron James show as the Cavs stormed back to win the series in seven.
2. 2015 — Game 5 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
While Stephen Curry was named NBA MVP for the first time in 2015, it was Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cavs where his career truly took off.
With the series tied 2-2, Curry put the Warriors on his back and led Golden State to a 104-91 victory, wasting LeBron’s triple-double for Cleveland. In what has to be considered his first signature NBA Finals appearance, Curry scored 37 points, shooting 13-for-23 from the floor, 7-for-13 from the 3-point line, and 4-for-4 from the foul line.
The Warriors closed out the series in the next game. Curry scored 25 in the clincher but was robbed of an NBA Finals MVP trophy, which went to Andre Iguodala.
1. 2022 — Game 4 vs. Boston Celtics
One could argue that Curry’s performance in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Celtics wasn’t just his best in the title series but the best of his entire career, given the circumstances. And that’s saying something.
With Golden State down 2-1 to Boston, Curry refused to let the Warriors lose Game 4, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot in leading the Warriors to a 107-97 victory on the road.
The first-ever Western Conference Finals MVP was magnificent once again, shooting 53.8% (14-for-26) from the floor, 50% (7-for-14) from beyond the arc, and 88.9% (8-for-9) from the charity stripe, ending the night with 43 points. Curry also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference