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Curry, Wiggins sizzle as Warriors knock down Kings, 114-97


PhilBoxing.com





San Francisco (Chase Center) --

With their backs against the ropes, the Warriors dug deep into their arsenal, avoided hitting the canvas, then systematically beat the upstart Kings, 114-97, on Thursday night.

Pardon the ‘Sweet Science’ metaphor, but you are on the #1 Boxing website emanating from the Philippines, and we are in the thick of the NBA playoffs, reminiscent of boxing, where only the strongest and hungriest survive.



Golden State, collaboratively, made 40-of-100 baskets (40% FG), sank 16-of-50 treys (32% 3-PT), dished more (31 to 21 assists), were more accurate on the foul line 18/24 (78.3% FT) as opposed to 16/23 (69.6% FT) for the Kings, controlled the paint commensurately scoring more near the rim (40 to 38 points), committed less turnovers (12 to 15), and led by as much as 23 points and never trailed nor tied. Interestingly enough, the Warriors had 4 wire-to-wire wins during the 2022-23 regular season.

The Warriors dished out 31 assists, their second 30-assist game in this year’s playoffs. During the regular season, the Warriors led the league in assists and recorded an NBA-high 41 30-assist games.

The Warriors controlled both boards with more rebounds (59 to 53), and were solid on defense, burgling more often (12 to 6 steals), blocking more shots (5 to 3), and limited the Kings to 97 points. Of note, the Kings were 0-4 when scoring under 100 points (season-low was 95, twice) during the regular season.

In the fight game, the visiting pugilist must take the title at all cost and, if need be, separate the opponent from his/her senses by knockout— TKO or otherwise.

The Kings have proven to be worthy challengers by reaching the playoffs after a 17-year hiatus, but they failed to capitalize on their hot 2-0 start in their best-of-seven series against the Warriors in the 1st-round of the Western Conference playoffs.

In the process, Sacramento may have awakened a sleeping giant and, perhaps, spurred the reigning and defending 2021-22 NBA champions back into contention.



Leading all scorers, Stephen Curry cooked 36 points (3,664 playoff career points), passing Scottie Pippen (3,642) and Dirk Nowitzki (3,663) for sole possession of 16th place on the NBA Playoffs all-time points scored list.

Chef Curry summarized, ”So, it was a very focused effort, great energy from everybody who set foot on the floor. Even just like the defensive numbers were amazing tonight, and might be a surprise considering Draymond and GP II were out….It's just a way that we are able to galvanize a great effort. Donte played amazing off the bench. Mo gave us great minutes. JK, the same. JaMychal, A-Lamb, everybody who set foot on the floor in the rotations understood their assignments and did it to the best of their ability.”

“When we get our two guys back (Draymond Green and Gary Payton, II), we have to continue to do that with whatever you're asked to do. We have a great opportunity to even the series on Sunday, and take it from there.”



After a lengthy absence during the regular season, Andrew Wiggins got his wind and his footing back to match his hot hands scoring 20 points in 34 minutes, making 8-of-16 baskets (50% FG) and sniping 3-of-6 treys (50% 3-PT) in his second consecutive game with 20-or-more points (22 in Game 2 at Sacramento).



Kevon Looney handed out a playoff-high nine assists and grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds, his second-career playoff game with 20-or-more rebounds (22, 5/13/22 vs. Memphis). He became the fourth player in NBA history to record nine assists and nine offensive rebounds in the same postseason game (Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Nikola Jokic). He is the only player to accomplish the feat in fewer than 38 minutes of play.

Jordan Poole appeared less erratic and dropped 16 points. He was cold beyond the outer arc making only 1-of-7 treys.

Klay Thompson posted 13 points on an uncharacteristic 5-of-15 shooting, but made two key shots down the stretch.

Moses Moody made 13 points with a three-point play and dunk over a 38-second stretch late in the third quarter.

Moody scored a playoff-career high 13 points off the bench (prev. 10, twice).

The rise of Jonathan Kuminga continues as he chipped in 6 points.

Donte DiVincenzo made 6 points but dished out a playoff-career high 8 assists.



Sacramento, by contrast, made 35-of-92 baskets (38%), sank 11-of-47 treys (23.4% 3-PT), made more fastbreak points (16 to 10), and scored more points after turnovers (22 to 7) despite committing more turnovers (15 to 12).

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 26, followed by Harrison Barnes with 17, Domantas Sabonis 15, Kevin Huerter 13, and Keegan Murray 6 points.

The reserves Malik Monk, Davion Mitchell, Terrence Davis,Trey Lyles, Alex Len, PJ Dozier and Richaun Holmes summed up a total of 20 points.

Considering the hostilities that transpired back in Game 2 in the state capitol, Game 3 was a physical but relatively clean game, i.e. no flagrant infractions, with both teams statistically tied in fouls— Kings 22, Warriors 19.

The Kings appeared less ambitious and made it to the foul line just 8 times in the first half and 23 for the game.



Upcoming:

Golden State hosts Sacramento on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 12:30 p.m. PDT in Game 4 of their First-Round, best-of-seven series.

Note of Appreciation:

Banner photos, stats and video link are courtesy of the NBA and brought to you by PhilBoxing.com.

The arena shots and post-game photos of Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Moses Moody were taken by this aspiring writer.

Special thanks to Messrs. Raymond Ridder, Brett Winkler, Cole Lawrence, Darryl Arata, and the Warriors staff for their kind assistance.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


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