How Steph Curry, Warriors broke Kings' spirit in Game 7, per Kevin Huerter
Huerter explains how Steph, Dubs broke Kings' spirit in Game 7 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Kings’ Cinderella 2022-23 NBA season ended at the hands of Warriors superstar Steph Curry’s 50-point explosion in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.
About a month later, Kings sharpshooter Kevin Huerter looked back on Curry’s historic performance and admitted that it played a part in slowly breaking Sacramento’s spirit before being eliminated.
“In the fourth quarter, I think what broke our spirit, like as they continued to make shots -- tough shots -- we weren’t making the ones that we were used to making and we were turning the ball over,” Huerter said on a recent episode of “The Old Man and the Three," which was released Thursday.
“And so it was like we wanted it so bad, especially in that fourth quarter trying to make a run, and not shooting well and it was like, ‘Alright, at some point, we’re going to see one go down, we’re going to get a turnover and go on a mini run.' It just never happened.
“And then Steph on the flip side was giving us 50. So I wouldn’t say our spirit broke until we knew, I think when [Kings coach] Mike [Brown] took us out at the end of the game and they just put in our subs and that was it.”
Curry finished the game with 50 points, eight rebounds and six assists on 20-of-38 shooting from the field and 7 of 18 from 3-point range, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 50 points in a Game 7 until Boston Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum dropped 51 against the Philadelphia 76ers two weeks later.
Huerter called Curry’s performance “unbelievable” and said Golden State’s ability to get hot at any given moment and go on a deep run was a focus for Sacramento heading into the game.
“Add Klay [Thompson] to that bunch, when Steph gets going it feels like Klay always has a 3 mixed in there too, and Jordan Poole has the ability to do it at times. But for us, it was not letting them get to that point.
“That was a big emphasis for us, especially going on the road, if they make a 3, we need to score a layup on the other end every time they make a 3, cause they’re going to make one and they’re going to celebrate, they’re going to point to the crowd, and if we can lay the ball in, that’ll break their spirit.
“But Golden State is just known to do that. When they go on those runs, they’re impossible to stop.”
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Even though their game plan fell apart in their final game of the season, the Kings learned their lessons. Surely, this won't be the last time these teams meet.