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Three Stars of the Night: Finals MVP edition

Feb 11, 2013, 1:21 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

There were actually multiple performances worthy of recognition on Sunday, but three stood out as most deserving. And sometimes, the guys who have been the primary force behind their team’s championship effort in the past show up during the regular season. On to the winners.

Third Star: Paul Pierce (27 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists, 54 minutes in Celtics triple-OT win over Nuggets)

Just … wow. Boston won its seventh straight game since Rajon rondo went down for the season with a torn ACL injury, and the team couldn’t have done it without the effort of Paul Pierce. It was his second triple-double of the season, and the shot near the end of the second overtime to send it to the game’s third extra session over Andre Miller was as good as it gets.

Second Star: Dwyane Wade (30 points, 12-18 shooting, 5 assists, 3 steals in Heat’s win over Lakers)

Wade was as critical to the Heat’s winning effort on Sunday as was LeBron James, if not more so. Every time James was on the bench — either due to foul trouble in the first half or simply just to get some rest to start the fourth — Wade responded, and carried his team offensively, often extending the lead while his all-world teammate sat and watched. This dunk in transition midway through the third fired up the crowd, and was his most spectacular play offensively.

First Star: LeBron James (32 points, 12-18 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals)

LeBron was just as dominant as Wade, but by tying an NBA record with his fifth straight game scoring at least 30 points while shooting 60 percent or better from the field, he gets the top spot. Also, he was on the receiving end of the game’s signature highlight, so he’s got that going for him — which is nice.

  1. colincb - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    NBA Efficiency for these games was +37 for Pierce, +35 for James, and +31 for Wade. PP also hit the biggest shot of these two games and his opponent (DEN) was the hottest team in the league. Seems pretty clear that Pierce deserves this grand honor more than James and Wade. Not that it matters, but it’s another example of how Heat-centric the NBA is when it comes to the pundits.

    • scalfor3 - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:49 AM

      Pierce didn’t shoot as efficiently as the Heat’s two stars, but IMO you should overlook that when you have a triple double and make a shot as clutch as that 3. My god, what a shot.

      • ibleedaquaorange - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:02 AM

        Took him 3OT to get a triple-double, it doesn’t mean nearly as much as a regulation stat line, that’s probably why he’s 3rd.

        You give LBJ 15 extra minutes, he’s automatic for one every night, with bigger numbers than those.

  2. goobazooka - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    @colincb

    You can easily make an argument for Pierce, but I wouldn’t say it’s “clear” that he deserves it more than Lebron. His line is nice and all, but he also shot 35% and had an extra 15 minutes over Lebron to put up numbers. Meanwhile, Lebron tied an NBA record.
    Not sure that there is a “clear” winner here.

  3. andyhr17 - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    Odd, I thought according to most Pierce was old, washed up, an done in the NBA. Love seeing the old guy rack up triple doubles and show people the Celtics are NOT done just because Rondo is out.

    • dko83 - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      You never count out these guys. It’s definitely cliched but Celtic Pride is a real thing, instilled by living legends like Russell. People that wonder if the Celtics are better w/o Rondo.. it’s a legitimate question to ask given the record, but I say it’s pride. A rallying cry.

  4. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    agreed it should of been wade LeBron then pierce first. Aw well either way all three did a great job tonight

  5. jtchernak - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Andre miller is such a moron. As a celtics fan what a game but Andre miller just took some absurd shots in crunch time

  6. bucrightoff - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Should have included another Finals MVP: Tony Parker. Only LeBron is playing better than Parker right now, how many 27+ point 9+ assist games does the guy need to have to get some love?

    • kavika6 - Feb 12, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      Right on bucrightoff!

  7. miamatt - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Three amazing performances but what Wade and LBJ had going on was basketball Nirvana. With all due respect to the great Paul Pierce, the performance in downtown Miami was littered with plays that will be trotted out on highlight reels 50 years from now.

    And I did watch late fourth quarter and the OTs in Boston, that 3 pointer Pierce hit was incredible, how many times has he done that?

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