The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs held plenty of excitement, intriguing matchups, and overwhelming upsets. But all eyes were on the series between the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors, and rightfully so.
The Kings were the surprise team of the league this season, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in 17 years behind their “Beam Team” moniker. The Warriors are of course the defending NBA champions, and had experience on their side going against such a young team.
Curry’s 50 Gives Warriors The Upper Hand Against Kings
CURRY TO THE RECORD BOOKS.
MOST POINTS EVER IN A GAME 7.
CHEF IN #PLAYOFFMODE pic.twitter.com/6KVKfunK1k
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2023
But the Kings lived up to the moment, and pushed the Warriors all the way to a Game 7, the first played in the city of Sacramento since 2002. They did so by winning an elimination game two nights ago, in a contest that Golden State was heavily favored in.
The line going into today’s game gave a slight edge to the Kings, but Steph Curry and his greatness decided to show up when it meant the most.
The game started off evenly contested, with the teams trading 5-point leads in the first half, and the game went to half-time with the Kings ahead 58-56. But Sacramento suffered a monumental collapse that began at the start of the third quarter and lasted until the final buzzer.
Curry, Draymond Tell Crowd To Light The Beam
Steph said "light the beam!" 😂👀 pic.twitter.com/8h7TXQqcoR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 30, 2023
Sacramento was outscored 35-23 in the third frame, thanks in large part to Kevon Looney and the rest of the Warriors’ dominance on the offensive glass. With four minutes still remaining, Golden State had 13 offensive rebounds in the quarter, which ended up being the backbreaker for the Kings mixed with their inability to make 3-pointers in the second half.
For the Warriors, it was the dominance of Steph Curry that put them over the top. The superstar had a career playoff high 50 points in the series-clinching victory, going 20 for 38 overall and 7 of 18 from long range.
The “Light The Beam” chant that has become so popular for people rooting for the Kings was on the tip of the tongues of the Warriors players as the clock wound down. After a foul late in the fourth quarter, Curry pointed to the button that lights said beam and mocked the pressing of it in celebration. When leaving the court, Draymond Green had some back and forth with the fans near the tunnel, and he referred to the slogan as well.
The Warriors will advance to play against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. That series will begin on Tuesday evening.
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