The greatest players in NBA history have all powered through adversity at one point on another, and Steph Curry once again showed his pedigree in perhaps the finest single-game performance of his playoff career.
After the Golden State Warriors got blown out at home in Game 6, they needed to advance with a road win against the Sacramento Kings, and Curry set a new record by becoming the first player to score 50 points in a Game 7.
Curry shot 20 of 38 overall and 7 of 18 from beyond the arc to finish with 50 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He made huge shots against and again in the second half and never gave the Kings a chance to mount a comeback. The Kings, who went into the second half ahead 58-56, faltered in the third quarter.
Curry’s scoring exploits were matched by Kevon Looney, who had 11 points, 21 rebounds and four assists in another gritty performance. The Warriors grabbed over 20 rebounds in the third quarter, with Looney grabbing 10 of them, preventing the Kings from executing the fast break offense that gave them success in Game 6.
The Warriors needed Curry’s huge game because no one else broke the 20-point barrier. Even at the age of 35, the best shooter to ever grace the hardwood continues to dominate in a way that enthrals audiences worldwide.
What’s even more impressive about Curry’s performance is that he only shot five free throws through the entire game. He scored 47 points from an array of jump shots, crafty drives to the hoop, and his patented long threes.
Kings fans will be heartbroken, and perhaps question why Brown didn’t make many adjustments to his lineup in the second half, but they should ultimately be proud of a squad that took the defending champions to seven games and finished as the third seed in the regular season – a much higher spot than any of them dreamed after starting the campaign on a 0-4 losing streak in October.
The Warriors, on the other hand, must now turn their attention to a marquee matchup in the second round. Curry will face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, and though James is now in the Western Conference, he and Curry will be most remembered for facing each other in the Finals four years in a row.
Golden State’s championship defense remains alive for now, and the entire NBA fandom will be looking forward to seeing two legends face off against each other for perhaps the last time.