Over the last 40 years of NBA Finals basketball, there have been players on losing teams who would have been MVP, if only they had won the big game.
This is a list of players since 1970 who scored over 25 points per game and yet their team still lost in the Finals. These guys are not to blame for the teams loss.
No.16 - In the 1998 Finals, Karl Malone was a one man show for the Jazz as they lost the series 2-4 against Chicago. Malone scored 25.0 points per game in 40.5 minutes. He shot 504 percent from the field and .789 percent from the line. Additionally, he added 10.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks. He held up his end of the bargain.
No. 15 - In 1989, Magic was injured and played only a few minutes so James Worthy took over by scoring for the Lakers vs. the Pistons. He averaged 25.5 points in 42.5 minutes and added 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and a block per game. He shot .481 percent from the field and 667 percent from 3pt range and .710 percent from the line. Lakers still lost 0-4.
No. 14 - In 1980, the Lakers won the title with Magic taking over in game 6 in a sweet rookie performance, but Dr. J was big-time all series. Though the 76ers lost 2-4, Dr. J put up 25.5 points in 40.7 minutes per game in the series. He also averaged 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2.3 blocks. He shot .522 percent from the field, .250 percent from 3 point range and .708 percent from the line.
No. 13 - In 2008, the Celtics beat the Lakers 2-4, but Kobe Bryant scored 25.7 pts per game for the Lakers, in 43 minutes per game. He shot .405 percent from the field and .321 percent from 3 point range and .796 percent from the line. Kobe also added 4.7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.7 steals.
No. 12 - In the 1999 Finals, Latrell Sprewell scored 26 points per game for N.Y. against the Spurs. He played 44.2 minutes per game and shot .410 percent from the field, .286 percent from 3 point range and .842 percent from the line. He added 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
No. 11 - Kevin McHale took on the Lakers and lost 2-4 in 1985. Bird was sort of held in check, so McHale went off for 26 points per game on .598 percent shooting from the field and 727 percent from the line. He added 10.7 boards, 1.3 assists and 1.8 block on 40 minutes per game.
No. 10 - In 1990, the Pistons won the title and yet Clyde Drexler scored 26.4 points per game for Portland. He played 40.8 minutes a night and added 7.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 block per game. He shot .543 percent from the field, .167 percent from 3 point range and .757 percent from the line.
No. 09 - In 2004, the Pistons could not stop Shaq, but they stopped everyone else and beat L.A. 1-4. Shaq dropped 26.6 points per game in 42.6 minutes on an amazing .631 percent from the field but a bad .491 percent from the line. He also averaged 10.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists.
No. 08 - In 1984, the Lakers took it to game 7 vs. the Celtics, but lost. Jabbar put up 26.6 pts, 7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.1 blocks. He shot .481 percent from the field and .679 percent from the line.
No. 07 - In 1993, Charles Barkley was regular season MVP but Jordan got Finals MVP. The Suns got to six games before losing 2-4, but Barkley scored 27.3 points per game and added 13 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.2 steals on .476 percent shooting from the field, .250 percent shooting from three-point range and .750 percent from the line.
No. 06 - In 1977, Julius Erving (Dr. J) scored 30.3 points per game against the Blazers but his team still lost 2-4. Erving played 41.3 minutes per game and averaged 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.7 steals. He shot .543 percent from the field and .857 percent from the line.
No. 05 - Jerry West was notorious for being awesome in a losing series, even being voted Finals MVP in a loss to Boston in the 1969 Finals. In 1970 he scored 31.3 points per game and grabbed 3.4 rebounds, adding 7.7 assists. He shot .450 percent from the field and .833 percent from the line. His team lost to N.Y. 3-4.
No. 04 - In 1974, the Bucks lost to the Celtics in six games. Jabbar scored 32.6 points per game in 49.3 minutes! He added 17 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1 steal and 2.2 blocks. He shot .534 percent from the field and .708 percent from the line in the losing effort.
No. 03 - Allen Iverson made the most of his only Finals appearance by scoring an energetic 35.6 points per game in 47.4 minutes. He shot .407 percent from the field and .282 percent from 3 point range and .729 percent from the line. He also added 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals. Lakers won 4-1.
No. 02 - In an amazing losing effort, 76ers stars combined for 51 points per game in the 1982 Finals. Andrew Toney averaged 26 points per game, shooting .529 percent from the filed, and Dr. J scored 25 points per game on .543 percent shooting, and THEY STILL LOST to the Lakers 2-4.
No. 01 - In the single greatest scoring onslaught by two players scoring over 25 points per game against their Finals rival is Shaq and Penny in 1995. In the series vs. Houston which led to a sweep, Shaq scored 28 points per game, added 12.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.5 blocks. Shaq made .595 percent of his field goals. Penny Hardaway shot .500 percent and .458 percent from three-point range, with .913 percent from the line, scoring 25 a game and they still lost! Wow, them Rockets were good. Olajuwon led the way with 35 points per game in the series.