In Game 2 on Sunday, the Golden State Warriors became the second team since the three-point line was added to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent on three-pointers, and 90 percent at the free throw line during an NBA Finals game. The last time it was done was 1986.
The accomplishment is colloquially known as “50/40/90” and is considered one of the highest marks of efficiency for a player during a season. Only eight players have averaged those figures for an entire season, with Steve Nash doing it four times. Most recently, Stephen Curry rattled off a 50/45/90 season last season on his way to the first ever unanimous MVP.
Though those three percentages aren’t held up the same way for individual games, it turns out they’re equally rare and impressive. In the three-point era, teams have only cracked those figures 37 times in the postseason, per basketball-reference.com, with the Warriors doing it twice these playoffs. It’s just so easy to miss on the percentages phenomenon — if you take, say, 22 free throws and miss three of them, you’ve already fallen below the vaunted 90 percent mark that you need to hit. In fact, teams with great offenses often shoot above 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. It’s the free throw percentage that makes this stat impressive.
On Sunday, the Warriors were buoyed by Curry’s 14-of-14 shooting from the free throw line, finishing 22-of-24 for the game. They finished with 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 41.9 percent shooting behind the line, giving them the second such line in Finals history.
The first? In 1986, the Boston Celtics shot 45-of-90 from the field, 23-of-24 from the free throw line, and 4-of-9 from behind the arc. It’s a far cry from the Warriors’ 43 three-point attempts on Sunday, but it counts!