NBA Best of 2015: Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors owned the year. But the league was packed with exhilarating moments all through 2015. Here, we highlight the five best moments:
Warriors go small, take control of NBA Finals
Back in June, Golden State Warriors ended a 40-year drought and brought home a championship to starved Bay Area fans. But they were trailing the series 1-2 until coach Steve Kerr pulled off a masterstroke – starting 6’7” forward Draymond Green at center in the crucial Game 4. After Andre Iguodala – the Finals MVP – was inserted into the starting 5, Warriors ran away with the series.
Klay Thompson goes ballistic, scores 37 in 10 minutes
On January 23, Klay Thompson hit a perfect 13/13 from the field, including 9/9 from deep, for the first-ever 37-point quarter in NBA history. The Sacramento Kings were very much in the contest; the scores were tied at 58 before Thompson went ballistic. By the end of Thompson’s 10-minute salvo, the shooting guard sat on 50 points for the night and his Warriors ran away with a 97-73 lead.
Clippers, Chris Paul knock Spurs out in Game 7
Many felt it was a travesty of justice that two powerhouse teams like Spurs and Clippers fared in the first round of the playoffs. In a series that went back-and-forth, it came down to a final possession in Game 7. Paul drove past Danny Green and pulled up over Tim Duncan to sink a series-sealing last-second on-legged shot to eliminate the mighty Spurs. It was a nice show of sportsmanship as Spurs embraced Paul. It was even more special when long-suffering Clippers fan Billy Crystal embraced Paul.
LeBron ignores coach, hits buzzer-beater against Bulls
Chicago Bulls fans are still bitter about this. With the Cavs trailing the series 1-2, and with the scores tied at 84 each, David Blatt called a timeout that he didn’t have (until assistant coach Tyronn Lue saved him). If referees had penalized Blatt, the Bulls would have won. With 1.5 seconds left, Blatt wanted James to inbound the ball from the baseline. However, James dissed his coach and put the ball into his own hands, hitting a buzzer-beater as the Cavs walked away with an 86-84 victory.
Warriors beat Celtics in double OT for record 24-0 start
The Warriors had run roughshod over the league, dominating teams by huge margins (including a 50-point victory against Grizzlies). But just when they appeared to challenge for the best start in NBA history, the champions suffered a big setback in TD Garden. With Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes out with injuries, the Warriors needed double-overtime to prevail over the Celtics. The rowdy Boston crowd didn’t make life easy for the Warriors but Curry and Green stepped it up.
NBA Best of 2015: Stay tuned fore more video highlights and features.