NBA Finals 2019: Let’s put Pascal Siakam’s Game 1 masterpiece in perspective

Pascal Siakam proved to be the hero of the night as he led the Raptors to a 118-109 victory over the Warriors in his first NBA Finals appearance. 

While he finished with a playoff career-high 32 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks — there’s much more to unpack from Siakam’s dominant performance beyond just his stat line. 

Let’s put his Game 1 masterpiece in perspective: 

  • Siakam, who shot 82.4 percent from the field, is just the seventh player in NBA Finals history to score 30-plus points on 80 percent shooting or better, according to NBA Stats. The only other players to accomplish that feat were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Adrian Dantley, Michael Jordan, Toni Kukoc and Shaquille O’Neal.
  • The forward got the most out of his NBA Finals debut with a team-high 32 points. Siakam scored the most in a Finals debut since Kevin Durant’s 36 in 2012 with the Thunder.
  • Siakam joins four others as the only players in NBA Finals history to have 30-plus points in Game 1 of a Finals within their first three seasons in the league (since 1970), per NBA Stats. He joins the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971), Julius Erving (1977), Hakeem Olajuwon (1986), and Tim Duncan (1999).
  • Siakam made 11 straight consecutive shots Thursday, which marked the longest streak in any Finals game in the past 20 seasons, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

“He played with really good composure, right,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters. “He got to his spots and got on balance and was patient, and when he needed to go quick and get around him, he did as well. He had a couple of really tough ones go in for him as well.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Siakam’s performance “brilliant,” while Golden State defender Draymond Green took responsibility for allowing the Raptors star to stay open.

“I let him get in a rhythm in the first half — first quarter really,” Green said. “So I’ve got to do a better job of taking his rhythm away, and I will, but he had a great game. But that’s on me.”

Game 2 of the NBA Finals will tip off at 8 p.m. ET (ABC) on Sunday.