Stephen Curry scored a playoff career-high 50 points and answered time and again to will the defending champions on in their quest for a repeat, Kevon Looney grabbed 21 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Sacramento Kings 120-100 in Sunday’s winner-take-all Game 7.
Curry’s points are the most in NBA history in a Game 7, topping former teammate Kevin Durant’s 48 for the Nets against Milwaukee in 2021.
|Player (Team)||Game||Date||Points scored||Result|
|Stephen Curry (Warriors)||Warriors vs. Kings||April 30, 2023||50||Warriors 120, Kings 100|
|Kevin Durant (Nets)||Nets vs. Bucks||June 19, 2021||48||Bucks 115, Nets 111 (OT)|
|Sam Jones (Celtics)||Celtics vs. Royals||April 10, 1963||47||Celtics 142, Royals 131|
|Dominique Wilkins (Hawks)||Hawks vs. Celtics||May 22, 1988||47||Celtics 118, Hawks 116|
The Warriors fell behind 2-0 in this series then won twice on the road in front of a hostile, cowbell-clanging crowd in the state capital to become the first reigning champion to drop the first two games and win any postseason series.
Curry’s 50 points tied the NBA record for most points scored in a playoff game by a player 35 or older. Hall of Famer Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz was the last to accomplish the feat in a 2000 first-round playoff series against the Seattle Supersonics.
Additionally, Curry’s 38 field goal attempts in Game 7 were the most of any game in his career. Lastly, in getting to 50 points, Curry passed Boston Celtics legend and Hall of Famer John Havlicek on the playoff scoring list, totaling 3,806 playoff points to Havlicek’s 3,776.
Now, bring on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals with all that NBA Finals history with James and Golden State dating to his Cleveland days. Game 1 is Tuesday night at Chase Center (10 ET, TNT).
Sacramento’s special comeback season is over long before these young Kings had planned. After snapping a 16-year playoff drought — longest in NBA history — under Coach of the Year Mike Brown, playoff-starved Sacramento earned a No. 3 seed but missed advancing to the second round for the first time since 2004. No more Light the Beam at Golden 1 Center this season.
Curry shot 20 of 38 with seven 3s and delivered after almost every big play by Sacramento as Splash Brother Klay Thompson struggled on both ends again. But Thompson came through in some crucial moments, too.
Malik Monk’s putback and three-point play with 14.6 seconds remaining in the third pulled Sacramento within six only for Thompson to hit a long 3 and convert a four-point play to make it 91-81 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but the Warriors held De’Aaron Fox in check as he scored 16 points on 5-for-19 shooting in his third game playing with a broken index finger on his shooting hand.
|Player (Team)||Game (Round)||Date||Points scored||Result|
|Stephen Curry (Warriors)||Warriors vs. Kings, Game 7 (First round)||April 30, 2023||50||Warriors 120, Kings 100|
|Karl Malone (Jazz)||Jazz vs. Sonics, Game 1 (First round)||April 22, 2000||50||Jazz 104, Sonics 93|
|Michael Jordan||Bulls vs. Jazz, Game 6 (NBA Finals)||June 14, 1998||45||Bulls 87, Jazz 86|
|Michael Jordan||Bulls vs. Pacers, Game 2 (East finals)||May 5, 1998||41||Bulls 104, Pacers 98|
|Reggie Miller||Pacers vs. 76ers, Game 2 (First round)||April 24, 2001||41||76ers 116, Pacers 98|
|Chris Paul||Suns vs. Clippers, Game 6 (West finals)||June 30, 2021||41||Suns 130, Clippers 103|
Trailing 58-56 at halftime, the Warriors opened the second half with a 13-4 burst to take a 69-62 lead and force a Kings timeout at the 7:50 mark.
Sacramento scored early on with a beautiful combination of classic give-and-goes and long jumpers off crisp passing around the perimeter.
But Curry kept coming, and Looney kept scrapping to create second and third opportunities during his brilliant series on the boards.
Curry fired from way back with precision and fearlessly drove to the basket with jaw-dropping acrobatics all afternoon to send Kings fans to the exits late in the fourth.
Thompson began 1 for 10 missing his first five 3s before connecting at the 9:18 mark of the third. Golden State, playing just its fourth Game 7 under Steve Kerr since the 2014-15 title run, was smart down the stretch after 18 turnovers in Game 6 led to 23 Kings points and Kerr calling his team “wildly undisciplined.”
Kerr had no doubt before the deciding game — and he went back to Draymond Green in the starting lineup for Game 7 with the season on the line after the fiery forward came off the bench the previous two contests following a Game 3 suspension for stepping 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 said. “There’s a sense of confidence and a sense that we’re going to go get it done.”
Just before the final buzzer, Kerr offered a long embrace to Brown — Golden State’s former top assistant who once coached the Warriors during Kerr’s health absence and just guided the Kings’ remarkable turnaround.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.