SACRAMENTO — The Golden State Warriors converged on the second floor of San Francisco’s home arena, the Chase Center, on Saturday for an off-day film session with panoramic views ahead of their first-round playoff series finale against the Sacramento Kings. view of the bay.
Coach Steve Kerr likes to stage film sessions when space is available. Otherwise, the team is stuck in the “lower dungeon” outside the locker room.He was grateful for his space, especially before Sunday’s Game 7. It was a healing experience.
Kerr said, “Even if it’s a great view and sunshine, an opportunity to breathe and relax between games, I think there has to be perspective. That can make a difference.”
It’s Stephen Curry. As zen on Sunday as Curry led the Warriors to a 120-100 win by skewering the Kings in every conceivable way on the way to 50 points on Sunday. No one looked like Game 7 NBA recordHe sank the Parabolic 3 Pointer. He drove for the layup. He toyed with the defenders. And he sent thousands of Kings fans into the streets of Sacramento before the game was over.
“Sublime,” said Carr.
“Complete dominance,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.
“It’s fun to watch,” said guard Klay Thompson.
Curry, Thompson and Green have spent years beating their opponents in one of the NBA’s most famous cores. Meanwhile, the Kings made his first postseason appearance since 2006. They had youth and energy. The Warriors have championship DNA.
“It was a great time to put it all together,” Curry said. “There’s still tension and anxiety and anticipation before the big night. But when we get out there, our experience takes over.”
Arriving at the Golden 1 center in an all-black ensemble, Curry shot 20-of-38 from the field and 7-of-18 from three-point range like he was wearing wake-up clothes. He also recorded eight rebounds and six assists.
Thompson said, “What an unbelievable performance of all time.
The Western Conference’s sixth seed, Golden State, will face the seventh seed, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the conference semifinals starting Tuesday in San Francisco. The Lakers defeated the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in Friday’s first-round series.
“To be able to do this for 10 years is unbelievable,” Kerr said of his core players. “The energy of fighting off challengers year after year, setting up and winning games, and having to do it over and over. There’s a reason they’re in the Hall of Fame and champions.”
The Warriors and Kings franchises haven’t been 100 miles apart for a long time, but for most of the past decade, they’ve produced entirely different brands of basketball.
Just as the Warriors have won championships (4 times), played in the NBA Finals (6 times), and have been busy redesigning how basketball is played thanks to the Splash Brothers (Curry and Thompson), the Kings have been busy in the past. We have been fighting for over 10 years. Wasted desert that bordered on them irrelevant.
Their overhaul began last season when they acquired All-Star center Sabonis on a deal with Indiana. That continued into the offseason when he signed free agent and reserve guard Malik Monk, acquired Kevin Harter in a trade with Atlanta, and hired one of Kerr’s assistants, Mike Brown, as his coach. .
Sure enough, the Kings, led by All-Star point guard De’Aaron Fox, went 48-34 during the regular season, celebrating each win with a beam of purple light from the roof of the arena. “Light the Beam!” helped bury, if not erase, the dysfunction of the last few years.
On Saturday night, before Game 7, Brown dined with his partner’s son at a Sacramento-area restaurant. A small parade of boys approached their table and asked Brown some pointed questions about the players on the team. They asked about Sabonis’ right thumb, which he fractured during the regular season. They asked if first-year forward Keegan Murray was ready to shoot in Game 7.
“And one of the kids was a Warriors fan, so they started making fun of him,” Brown said. No! No! But he was wearing a Golden State Warriors hat.”
Most of all, I could feel their excitement, a kind of postseason anticipation that Sacramento hadn’t experienced in years.
As for the Warriors, their roster always seemed to be in flux during the regular season. Curry injured his shoulder and sprained his ankle.
Kerr, on the other hand, is balancing between securing a playoff spot (not a certainty) and developing young players like Moses Moody, Jonathan Cuminga and James Wiseman, who was eventually traded midseason. Ultimately, Kerr continued to fall back on the usual suspects – Curry, Thompson and defensive stalwart Green – as the postseason focus became clearer.
The Warriors welcomed Wiggins’ return as they headed into the playoffs, but losing the first two games presented another obstacle. Curry, Thompson and Green ended his 2-0 record in the playoffs for the first time in his career. Maybe I needed a new challenge.
On Sunday, with Sacramento leading 58-56 at halftime, Golden State (a team long known for gutting teams in the third quarter) got down to business as usual. Curry sank the 3-pointer. He sliced through a mix of defenders for scooping on layups. He drained the floater.
“You can tell if he’s trapped or laser focused,” said Green.
Golden State were led by nine by the time the team’s starting center, Kevon Looney, logged an offensive rebound.
The atmosphere among Kings fans inside the arena wasn’t necessarily panic, but it was certainly apprehensive. Curry had been in this type of situation many times already, but neither the hostile environment nor the pressure of Game 7 seemed to bother him. .
“This is one of the greatest players in the history of the game,” said Kerr, adding:
Spectator anxiety turned to resignation as Golden State’s lead ballooned in the fourth quarter.
Looney closed out a great series with a double-double, 11 points and 21 rebounds.
“He’s a total winner and a machine,” Kerr said.
But the stage was Curry’s, which wasn’t a surprise – another one awaits against the Lakers. After Sunday’s game, Curry was asked if anyone could stop him.
“Hopefully we never find out,” he said.