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    GameChangers (06/16/15)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    Game-Changing plays from the NBA Finals.



    To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we took our in-game technology to the next level to review the game-changing plays from NBA Playoffs and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

    Click the header below to view the Game Breakdown for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

    Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

    The Golden State Warriors ended a 40-year championship drought with a 105-97 victory in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

    Stephen Curry and the Finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points each and Draymond Green posted a triple double to lead the Warriors to their first title since 1975.

    The best (and most likely) team won the title but perhaps not the team with the best player.

    The Cavs could have won if…

    LeBron James finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and was one assist shy of another Finals triple double. James earned four of the 11 MVP votes despite his team's shortcomings.

    LeBron is now 2-4 in the NBA Finals after another failed championship attempt.

    The four-time MVP's record might be different and the NBA Finals could be headed for a decisive Game 7 if the Warriors had not hit a barrage of three pointers in the fourth quarter.

    Trailing 75-61, Cleveland went on a 7-0 run early in the final quarter to cut the Warriors' lead in half. On Golden State's next possession following a timeout Stephen Curry drilled a 3-pointer off of an offensive rebound, a play all too familiar to Cleveland fans during the Finals.

    The Warriors become 90 percent likely to win.



    Had Cleveland secured the rebound instead of Golden State, trailing 75-68 with less than ten minutes to play, the Cavs would have become 25 percent likely to win.

    The offensive rebound by Golden State and the Curry three pointer were worth 15 percent in expected win probability compared to the Cavs retaining possession.

    Additional Game Notes:
    The Cavs were the projected favorites for one minute and five seconds in the third quarter when they held a 47-45 lead. Golden State responded with a 9-0 run to retake the lead and became 72 percent likely to win.

    The city of Cleveland has not celebrated a major sports championship since 1964.

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