The Golden State Warriors struggled on the road all season but came through in a big way in Sacramento on Sunday to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.
Leading the charge was two-time MVP Steph Curry, who produced an all-time playoff performance by dropping in 50 points on 20-of-38 shooting including 7-of-18 from behind the three-point line. He added eight rebounds, six assists and one steal. The Dubs bested the Sacramento Kings by a score of 120-100 to capture the series and move on to face old nemesis LeBron James and the resurgent Los Angeles Lakers in the second round.
Curry’s 50-point performance wasn’t just a personal best, it also broke the NBA record for points scored in a Game 7 of an NBA Playoff series. That mark was previously held by Kevin Durant, Curry’s former teammate in Golden State, who scored 48 points in a losing effort for the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Crazy thing is, I just wanted to come out and look for shots early, get my teammates going throughout the game,” Curry said following the win. “But when I’m looking for shots, it usually works in our favor.”
Warriors’ Steph Curry Involved in Passionate Interaction With Kings Fans
An impassioned Curry led his team from the beginning of the game and helped keep the Dubs close in a tight first half that nevertheless saw the Warriors playing mostly from at least a few points behind.
The normally cool and collected superstar was so fired up that he began to engage with the Kings’ home crowd as he was taking over the contest in the second half.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Curry emphatically slammed the basketball into the hardwood and hollered at Sacramento fans to “light the beam!”
That saying has become something of a rallying cry and victory mantra for the Kings and their fan base after a 17-year playoff drought, which was the longest in the NBA until the team snapped it this year.
Warriors’ Kevon Looney Produced Monster Game 7 With 21 Rebounds
Curry wasn’t the only Warrior to put up unheard of statistics in the Dubs’ Game 7 victory.
Center Kevon Looney added to the mix with a 21-rebound performance, including 10 off the offensive glass. Looney also chipped in 11 points and four assists on his way to a +25 in the plus/minus category on the afternoon.
Looney has been a beast on the boards all series long, putting up 20 rebounds in Game 3 and grabbing 22 rebounds in Game 5. The big man averaged 15.1 rebounds per outing across the series. Curry, meanwhile, averaged 33.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists against the Kings as the Warriors won their final two games of the series on the road.
The Dubs’ performances in Games 5 and 7 have largely put to bed the notion that Golden State can’t repeat as NBA champions in 2023 because they can’t win away from Chase Center. That reputation had been earned during the regular season, when the Warriors were just 11-30 away from home.
Golden State will open the second round of the playoffs in San Francisco against the Lakers on Tuesday, May 2, at 10 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. WST.