<
>

Both teams chasing history in Game 6

Stephen Curry and the Warriors are on the verge of another Finals victory over LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Getty Images, NBAE via Getty Images

In advance of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, ESPN’s Stats & Information runs through the most important statistical storylines:

Leading in the series 3-2, the Golden State Warriors can clinch a title on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ court for the second consecutive season. It would be the second time in NBA history that a team did that: The Boston Celtics clinched in Los Angeles against the Lakers in 1968 and 1969.

The Cavaliers are trying to do something almost equally as rare: Only two teams in NBA Finals history have forced a Game 7 after trailing 3-1. The Lakers forced a Game 7 in 1966 before falling to the Celtics, and the New York Knicks forced a Game 7 in 1951 before losing to the Rochester Royals.

If the Cavaliers lose, they will be 0-3 playing for NBA titles. Two other teams in NBA history lost in each of their first three trips to the Finals: the Detroit Pistons in 1955, 1956 and 1988, and the New York Knicks in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

This is the third NBA Finals in which each of the first five games has been decided by double figures. The other two were 1988 (the Pistons against the Lakers) and 1960 (the St. Louis Hawks against the Celtics). There has never been an NBA Finals in which each game was decided by 10 or more points.

The Warriors have wins by 15, 33 and 11 points. Two teams have won the NBA title with all four of their victories by 10 points or more: the 2014 Spurs over the Heat and the 1960 Celtics over the Hawks.

James excels when facing elimination

LeBron James has scored at least 20 points in all 16 games he has played when his team has faced elimination from a postseason series. The only players with longer streaks in that category are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (18) and Karl Malone (17).

James has 1,011 points in NBA Finals games, ninth-most in history. He needs 10 points to pass John Havlicek for eighth place and 25 points to pass Tom Heinsohn for seventh.

The Cavaliers’ other 40-point scorer from Game 5, Kyrie Irving, has more points, the same number of assists, fewer turnovers, three times as many steals and a higher shooting percentage than Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals.

Warriors seek to close out series

With a chance to clinch the title in Cleveland, Curry should take heart from his most recent game there. He scored 38 points in Game 4, his career high for a Finals game.

In 11 NBA Finals games, Curry has scored 30 points twice. In the 2015-16 regular season, he averaged 30 points per game and scored at least 30 in more than half of his games. He has almost as many turnovers (22) as assists (23) in this series.

Curry is threatening the record for made 3-pointers in an NBA Finals. He has 22; the record is 27 by Danny Green in 2013.

Three players -- James, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell -- have won the regular-season MVP and an NBA title in back-to-back seasons. Curry has a chance to become the fourth.

Did you know?

If the Warriors win on Thursday, it will be the third time in NBA history a team clinched the title on June 16. The others? The Warriors last year and the 72-10 Bulls in 1996.