SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors punched their ticket to the Western Conference Semifinals after defeating the Sacramento Kings 120-100 in Game 7 of their first-round series.
And it’s all thanks to Stephen Curry.
Curry erupted for 50 points on 20-of-38 shooting — the most points ever scored in a Game 7 in league history. Curry is the first player in Warriors history with 40 points in a Game 7. He scored 17 in the fourth.
The help Curry got was limited, as Klay Thompson went 1-of-10 and Jordan Poole scored just five points in the first half. Through the first 24 minutes, the Warriors appeared to be outmatched by the Kings. Yet they trailed by just two at halftime.
And finally midway through the third quarter, the Warriors woke up. They slowed the Kings on defense, taking control of the pace and attempting 10 more shots. Thompson gave the Warriors timely buckers — he and Curry scored or assisted on 30 of the Warriors’ 35 third quarter points.
Golden State grabbed 23 rebounds to Sacramento’s nine, 13 of which were offensive, tied for the most they have had in any quarter in the last 20 seasons, regular season or postseason. Once again, Kevon Looney was a game-changer, grabbing 10 of the Warriors’ third quarter rebounds, eight of on the offensive glass.
Looney’s presence on the boards was a defining factor for the Warriors — not just in Game 7, but throughout the series, as the margin on the glass was critical in each game.
Game 7 mirrored Golden State’s series as a whole: they looked outmatched early, missing five of their first 3-pointers. Meanwhile, the Kings were cooking. But somehow, the Warriors stayed close. And when it mattered, they mustered up enough down the stretch to slam the door shut.
Golden State was the 22nd defending champion to trail 2-0 in a best-of-7 series. With this win, it became the fifth team to come back and win the series. The Warriors are now 1-9 in a best-of-7 series where they trail 2-0 all-time.
They will now face the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals, with Game 1 being played on Tuesday at Chase Center.
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