Stephen Curry posts worst NBA Finals Game Score by MVP in 26 years

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Stephen Curry played terribly in Game 2.

He shot 5-for-23, including 2-of-15 on 3-pointers and committed six turnovers. He air-balled the potential game-winner in overtime and threw away the ball on the Warriors’ final possession.

It was a disastrous performance for anyone, let alone the reigning MVP.

Here’s how every MVP has performed in each Finals game since 1985, as far back as Basketball-Reference.com has complete game logs. To measure, we’ll use Game Score:

the formula is PTS + 0.4 * FG – 0.7 * FGA – 0.4*(FTAFT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK – 0.4 * PFTOV. Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc.).

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Game Game Score
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G1 40.8
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G1 37.9
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G2 37
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G1 36.9
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G4 35.6
Allen Iverson: 2001 PHI-LAL G1 35
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G3 35
Michael Jordan: 1991 CHI-LAL G2 34.7
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G2 33.5
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G1 33.5
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G5 33.3
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G2 33
Michael Jordan: 1991 CHI-LAL G1 32.6
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G7 32.5
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G6 32.2
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G6 30.9
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G1 30.9
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G5 30.7
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G2 30.6
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G6 29.7
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G4 29.6
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G5 28.7
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G4 28.7
Michael Jordan: 1991 CHI-LAL G4 28.6
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G6 28.5
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G3 28.2
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G3 28.1
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G4 28
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G4 26.3
Michael Jordan: 1991 CHI-LAL G5 26.1
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G6 25.9
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G6 25.8
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G5 25.7
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G3 25.6
LeBron James: 2012 MIA-OKC G5 25.5
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G3 25.4
LeBron James: 2012 MIA-OKC G4 25.3
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G6 25.3
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G6 25.1
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G2 25.1
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G2 25
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G2 24.8
Michael Jordan: 1991 CHI-LAL G3 24.8
LeBron James: 2012 MIA-OKC G2 24.7
Allen Iverson: 2001 PHI-LAL G3 24.1
Shaquille O’Neal: 2000 LAL-IND G3 23.6
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G3 23.6
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G2 23.3
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G2 23
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G4 22.5
LeBron James: 2012 MIA-OKC G1 22.3
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G7 22
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G4 21.9
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G2 21.8
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G4 21.5
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G1 21.5
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G5 21.2
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G1 21.2
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G3 20.9
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G3 20.7
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G4 20.6
Stephen Curry: 2015 GSW-CLE G1 20.4
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G1 20.4
LeBron James: 2012 MIA-OKC G3 20.4
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G2 20.2
Magic Johnson: 1989 LAL-DET G2 20.1
Magic Johnson: 1987 LAL-BOS G6 20.1
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G1 20.1
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G1 20
Magic Johnson: 1989 LAL-DET G1 19.5
Allen Iverson: 2001 PHI-LAL G4 19.4
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G5 19.2
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G3 19
Allen Iverson: 2001 PHI-LAL G5 18.7
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G3 18.6
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G5 18.4
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G1 18.3
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G4 18.3
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G4 18
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G2 17.9
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G6 17.8
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G7 17.7
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G6 17.7
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G4 17.3
Michael Jordan: 1992 CHI-POR G3 17.1
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1994 HOU-NYK G5 17
Magic Johnson: 1988 LAL-DET G5 16.5
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G5 16.2
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G6 15.6
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G1 15.6
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G5 15.1
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G6 14.9
Michael Jordan: 1998 CHI-UTA G5 14.8
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G4 14.3
Larry Bird: 1986 BOS-HOU G5 12.4
Charles Barkley: 1993 PHO-CHI G1 12.1
Larry Bird: 1985 BOS-LAL G3 12.1
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G5 11.7
Karl Malone: 1997 UTA-CHI G2 11.6
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G1 11
LeBron James: 2013 MIA-SAS G3 10.3
Michael Jordan: 1996 CHI-SEA G4 9.8
Tim Duncan: 2003 SAS-NJN G2 9.5
Kobe Bryant: 2008 LAL-BOS G6 8
Allen Iverson: 2001 PHI-LAL G2 5.2
Stephen Curry: 2015 GSW-CLE G2 2.9
Magic Johnson: 1989 LAL-DET G3 -0.7

The only mark worse than Curry’s 2.9 is Magic Johnson’s -0.7 in Game 3 of the 1989 NBA Finals. But Johnson played just five minutes, missing a couple shots and dishing an assist, due to a hamstring injury suffered in Game 2. He missed all of Game 4 as the Pistons completed the sweep.

Curry played 42 stunningly awful minutes.

Credit Matthew Dellavedova and the Cavaliers’ defense. They performed well.

But also blame Curry for laying an egg when it counts most. MVPs aren’t supposed to play this way.

Until last night, it’d been a long time since one had.