Game 8 of the 2016 NBA Finals — or rather the Christmas Day game between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers — lived up to its billing.
What made the contest great from a statistical perspective?
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The Cavaliers won a game that they led for 42 seconds, the second-least amount of time a team led in a win this season (the Orlando Magic defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in a game that Orlando led for 19 seconds on Nov. 1). In their four NBA Finals wins in 2016, the Cavaliers led for an average of 34 minutes.
At the close of November, Chicago sported the league’s fourth-best average scoring margin, behind only the Warriors, Clippers and Cavs. But the Bulls’ December has only been slightly more enjoyable than the Lakers’ December — and you’ll fully realize how faint that praise really is when you get down to the details in the Lakers’ comment.
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Entering its Christmas Day home date with San Antonio, Chicago’s minus-9.6 PPG scoring drop from last month to this month was the league’s second-most, behind only Atlanta’s minus-11.1 and narrowly ahead of the Lakers’ minus-8.5.
The Nuggets bookended their last week before the holidays with a stirring second-half comeback to take down the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks — and then an utter meltdown from 108-100 up on the visiting Hawks?
Remember those four air balls Kobe shot in a playoff game against the Utah Jazz at the end of his rookie season in 1997?