Curry led a memorable comeback in the series, too, perhaps improbable even for the defending champions when they got down 2-0 and given their road woes all season.
“It’s amazing ’cuz you’re still in the fight,” Curry said. “Better than the alternative of on the outside looking in. Having been down 0-2 in this series, nothing was guaranteed, you don’t take anything for granted.”
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.
Kevon Looney grabbed 21 rebounds for a Warriors team that needed to win twice on the road facing 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.
Now, bring on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals with all that NBA Finals history between James and Golden State dating to his Cleveland days. Game 1 is tonight at Chase Center.
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 missed advancing to the second round for the first time since 2004.
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.
“What an incredible performance,” Thompson said. “This is a Game 7 I’ll forever remember as the Steph Curry game.”
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.