What we learned as Steph drops 50 to push Dubs to second round


SACRAMENTO -- Four more quarters. Forty-eight more minutes. One final game. 

Either the Warriors would advance or the Sacramento Kings' season to remember would extend to the second round. The former played out in front of a distraught Golden 1 Center as Steph Curry and the Warriors took down the Kings, 120-100, Sunday in Game 7 of an unforgettable first-round NBA playoff series.

Curry put it upon himself to add to his legacy and continue the Warriors' title defense. Early on it, Game 7 felt like a contest where the Warriors might need 50 point from Curry. He gave them exactly 50.

Curry's 50-piece is a new career-high for him in the playoffs, and the most ever by a player in a Game 7, breaking Kevin Durant's previous record of 48. 

Kevon Looney was the Warriors' second-best player all series long. He owned the glass with 21 more rebounds. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis only had eight.

The Warriors dominated the second half, outscoring the Kings by 22 points, 64-42.

Next up are the Los Angeles Lakers, with Game 1 being Tuesday at Chase Center.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' epic Game 7 win.

Steph Show

Steph Curry coming into Sunday had averaged 28.3 points, 7.3 assists and 6.0 rebounds in four career Game 7s. From the opening tip, it was clear the Warriors would need more than 28 from him and Curry was on the same page. With 7:50 remaining in the third quarter, he already was up to 28 points.

The Warriors at that moment had 69 points, with Curry proudly wearing his superhero cape.

Throughout the first half, Curry was getting little help offensively while already dropping 20 points. His fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, was nowhere to be found, scoring only seven points on 1-of-10 shooting. Andrew Wiggins, 11, was the only other Warrior in double figures.

The show didn't stop there. It kept coming for Curry, sending daggers through the hearts of the Kings and their fan base. Enjoy every second of Steph Curry.

He scored 30 points in the second half, 14 in the third and 16 in the fourth. That's 20 points in the first half and 30 in the second, with a dynasty hanging in the balance.

Third-Quarter Warriors

Whatever Steve Kerr or anybody else said at halftime, they'll need to keep repeating it. The Warriors looked like a team on the ropes in the first half. In the third quarter, they were a team on a mission.

Golden State outscored Sacramento 35-23 in the third. Curry continued cooking, scoring 14 points in the period. Thompson woke up, scoring nine points in the period after a seven-point first half.

Points were far from the story of the third quarter. Hustle was. 

The Warriors grabbed 21 rebounds in the first half. In the third quarter alone, they came down with 23. The Kings only had nine, a 14-rebound advantage for the Warriors. 

Finally, they hit the offensive glass. The Warriors had 13 offensive rebounds over those 12 minutes, tied for the most by any team for a quarter, regular season or playoffs, in the last 20 years.

How important was that? The Kings took five more shots than the Warriors in the first half. The Warriors then hoisted 10 more than the Kings in the third, 30-20. The possession game flipped to the defending champions, and they never looked back.

The Looney Legend Continues

Draymond Green returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench the previous three games. He played 38 minutes and was a plus-25 with eight points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals. The Warriors starting lineup played 23:11 together and were a plus-26, outscoring the Kings 62-36. 

Getting Green back with the best five-man group in the NBA was huge. So was Kevon Looney continuing to be Mr. Consistent. 

He's to thank for the Warriors' rebounding clinic in the third quarter. Looney had eight rebounds in the first half. The Warriors center then had 10 in the third quarter, including seven offensive.

RELATED: Austin Rivers predicts Warriors will win Game 7, win NBA Finals

Looney finished the day with 21 rebounds -- 11 on defense and 10 on offense -- in 31 minutes. He also had 11 points, four assists and also was a plus-25. That's who he was the entire series. 

Over seven games, Looney averaged 15.1 rebounds. The Warriors will need more of that against Anthony Davis and the Lakers. Looney has the best contract in basketball, and only Curry was more important in the Warriors' seven-game series.

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