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Kevin Durant still leading the 2014 playoffs in scoring

Jun 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

LeBron James, Kevin Durant LeBron James, Kevin Durant

Will LeBron James score 46 points and/or lead the Heat to victory in Game 5 on Sunday?

Either task will be difficult, and if LeBron accomplishes neither, Kevin Durant will lead the 2014 playoffs in points.

It would be just the fourth time a player led a postseason in scoring without reaching the Finals. The other three:

  • 1990:Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • 1989:Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
  • 1961:Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Lakers

Perhaps even more remarkably, LeBron is poised to become the only player in the Finals to rank in the top four of scoring this postseason. Here’s the current leaderboard:

1. Kevin Durant (OKC), 563

2. LeBron James (MIA), 517

3. Russell Westbrook (OKC), 507

4. Paul George (IND), 429

5. Tony Parker (SAS), 384

6. Tim Duncan (SAS), 360

7. Dwyane Wade (MIA), 345

8. Manu Ginobili (SAS), 311

Will Parker score 45 points Sunday? I’d even bet against him scoring 45 in the next two games combined if the series reaches a Game 6.

Here’s how frequently four, three and two Finals players have cracked the top four in postseason scoring:

  • Four: 30
  • Three: 26
  • Two: 11

Only one would be a first.

Here’s a full history of the top four scorers in each postseason.

NBA champions are blue. Finals losers are orange. LeBron – whose fate has yet to be determined – is green. Those who didn’t reach the Finals are white and therefore don’t appear here.

To view a larger version with the ability to mouse over players and see more info, click here.

image

The Spurs, if they hold on to win the series before one of their players climbs the scoring ranks, would become just fifth NBA champion without a player in the top four of postseason scoring. The four to do it:

  • 1990 Detroit Pistons
  • 1963 Boston Celtics
  • 1961 Boston Celtics
  • 1960 Boston Celtics

Maybe this says something about the value of balance and teamwork. Maybe it’s just coincidence.

I’m not sure. I just found it interesting.

  1. cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    MVP!

    • Zammael - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Making Vacation Plans!

  2. Hard On For Harden - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    That’s amazing. Would have sworn it was LaMarcus Aldridge after you totally jumped the gun after a two game sample size.

  3. djshnooks - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    And he’s still gonna lose.

    But look at those Celtics team. They were a team. They knew how to get everyone involved and not be selfish players. (Then again, on the flip-side of that, the competition was much harder back then.)

    Maybe Lebron should try to get his teammates involved a little more…instead of trying to be the hero all the time. That’s why the Spurs are so good, they’re unselfish and don’t care, as long as they win the game that’s all that matters.

    Go Spurs! (I’m not even a Spurs fan.)

    • bils293 - Jun 15, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      Have you ever watched lebron play? He’s constantly making plays for his teammates. I’ve never heard lebron referred to as an unselfish player

  4. tardyman - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    You were going to list the other 3 times a player led a postseason in scoring without reaching the Finals, but you left one bullet point blank…? :\

  5. tardyman - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    You were going to list the other 3 times a player led a postseason in scoring without reaching the Finals, but you left one bullet point blank…? :\ I’ll just assume it’s MJ then

  6. antistratfordian - Jun 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    The Thunder played a lot of playoff games this year. As many as the Heat so far.

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