There were two priamry narratives that were swirling about the Warriors/Kings series – would a loss mean the end of the dynastic run of the Golden State Warriors or would the rise of these young Kings continue by dispathcing the reigning champs?
The former played itself out as Stephen Curry turned in a performance for the ages, scoring 50 points on 20/38 from the floor, knocking down seven three-pointers, while also grabbing 8 rebounds and handing out 7 assists. The half-a-hundred Curry dropped was the most points scored in a game 7 in NBA history. Kevon Looney had his hands all over the game, scoring 11 points, but did his damage on the glass with 21 rebounds, including a whopping 10 offensive boards. Several of those offensive rebounds c ame during critical points in the third quarter.
The first half was a closely-contested nip and tuck , back and forth affair that was a two-point game at the half ( Sacramento was up 58-56). As has been the case so many times for the Warriors, the third quarter proved to be the game’s decisive period, while it was full of heroics from Curry, Looney’s work on the glass kept multiple possessions alive that ended Sacramento runs before they could get going. The Kings cut the Golden State lead to 6 points late in the quarter , but play Thumpson’s four-point play pushed lead back to 10 points at 91-81 headed into the fourth and seemed to be a backbreaker. Golden State would put the game out of reach, pushing their advantage to as much as 24 points.
The Kings shot just 37.5% from the field. Domatas Sabonis and Keagan Murray scored 22 and 10 points, respectively and were also the only Sacramento starters to shoot 50% or better from the floor, as Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter and De’Aaron Fox shot a combined 8-32 from the field.
Up next for the Warriors is a date in the second round with Los Angeles Lakers and familiar foe LeBron James.