De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk stole the limelight in the sixth game of the NBA Playoffs first-round series which allowed Sacramento Kings to force a seventh game against Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors had pulled the home court advantage in their favour with a road win in the fifth game but failed to closeout the series and suffered a blowout 118-99 loss on Friday.
Despite the series decider being played at Kings’ home, the Warriors remain the favourites to advance to the second round, given the team’s experience in the post season tournament.
The Warriors have in their ranks Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green - each having won four titles with the franchise. Even the younger players Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney have Playoffs experience and won the title last year.
Kings’ players, on the other, are making their Playoffs debut this season. This is the first Playoffs appearance for the franchise since 2006.
This mismatch will most certainly be a factor going into the series finale, which is often known to test the nerves of players. And the Warriors have been through this before.
WARRIORS IN GAME 7 IN CURRY ERA
Curry’s first game seven came in the 2014 post season. The Warriors came up against Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of Playoffs and the series extended to a decider.
Curry scored 33 on the night but his team was unnable to get over the line.
Golden State next faced the series decider against Oklahoma City Thunder two years later in 2016. Having trailed 1-3 at one point, against Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s OKC, the Warriors rallied in the last three games and went on to win the series.
Thompson and Curry - also known as the Splash Brothers - were the orchestrators of the Warriors comeback and pulled the team through to the NBA Finals with a 96-88 win in the decider.
In the Finals, against LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors again were forced to the seventh game. This time, the Warriors lost. It was the double whammy of losing the title along with blowing a 3-1 lead in the series.
The most recent tryst with the seventh game for Warriors was during the 2018 Playoffs against Harden’s Houston Rockets.. Trailing 3-2 in the series, the Warriors were 15 points behind in the sixth game.
The duo of Curry and Thompson, along with Durant in their side, forced a decider. In the last game, the Warriors again fought a 17-point deficit to pull off a win and advance to the NBA Finals.
WARRIORS WIN/LOSS RECORD IN GAME 7
- 2014: Warriors vs Clippers - Warriors lost 121-126
- 2016: Warriors vs Thunder - Warriors won 96-88
- 2016: Warriors vs Cavaliers - Warriors lost 89-93
- 2018: Warriors vs Rockets - Warriors won 101-92
In the franchise history, the Warriors have played 10 series deciders and hold an even 5-5 record.
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