The Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 120-100 in Sunday’s winner-take-all Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. Kevon Looney grabbed 21 rebounds, Stephen Curry scored a playoff career-high 50 points, and the defending champions were continually encouraged to pursue a repeat victory.
Curry beat former teammate Durant’s 48 points on the Nets against Milwaukee Bucks in 2021 to record the most points in NBA Game 7.
The Golden State Warriors were the first defending champions to go behind 2-0 in a playoff series before coming back to defeat their opponents in the following two away games in front of a noisy, cowbell-ringing crowd in the state capital.
With all of James’ NBA Finals history with Golden State returning to his time with Cleveland, it’s time to bring on LeBron and the L.A Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Tuesday night at Chase Center is the first game.
An emotional Stephen Curry heads to the locker room. Lakers up next. #DubNation #DubsOn7 #NBA pic.twitter.com/X7pqjd86IL
— Chris Alvarez (@CAlvarezABC7) April 30, 2023
Sacramento’s Historic Comeback Season Has Ended Far Sooner Than the Youthful Kings Had Hoped
After ending a 16-year playoff drought under Coach of the Year Mike Brown, Sacramento received a No. 3 seed but failed to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004. This season, there will be no Light the Beam at Golden 1 Center.
The Splash Brother Klay Thompson struggled on both ends, Curry shot 20 of 38 with seven three-pointers and delivered after almost every big play by Sacramento. Thompson, on the other hand, came through at some important occasions.
With 14.6 seconds remaining in the third, Malik Monk’s putback and three-point play got Sacramento within six, only for Thompson to score a deep three and execute a four-point play to make 91-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Domantas Sabonis led the Golden State Warriors with 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while De’Aaron Fox was hampered to 16 points on 5-for-19 shooting in his third game with a fractured index finger on his shooting hand.
After trailing 58-56 at halftime, the Golden State Warriors began the second half with a 13-4 run to go up 69-62 and force a Kings timeout at 7:50.
Sacramento scored early on with a great blend of traditional give-and-goes and deep jumpers off precise perimeter play.
Golden State Warriors Triumph in Game 7 with Curry’s Dominance and Looney’s Resilience
But Curry kept coming, and Looney kept fighting for second and third chances during his brilliant series on the boards.
All afternoon, Curry shot from long range with perfection and aggressively drove to the hoop with jaw-dropping athleticism to drive Kings fans fleeing late in the fourth.
Thompson started 1 for 10, missing his first five three-point attempts before converting at the 9:18 minute of the third. Golden State played wise down the stretch after 18 errors in Game 6 led to 23 Kings points and Kerr labeling his team “wildly undisciplined.”
Kerr had no doubts before the game, and he put Draymond Green back in the starting lineup for Game 7 with the playoffs season on the line, after the feisty forward came off the bench the previous two games due to a Game 3 ban for stomping on Domantas Sabonis.
“These guys are champions, defending champions from a year ago, four in the last eight years, these guys know the deal,” Kerr explained. “There’s a sense of confidence and determination that we’re going to get it done.”
Just before the final buzzer, Kerr extended a long embrace to Brown, Golden State’s Warriors former top assistant who briefly managed the Warriors during Kerr’s absence due to illness and has recently directed the Kings’ incredible resurgence.
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