Malik Monk scored 28 points, De’Aaron Fox added 26 points and 11 assists, and the Sacramento Kings staved off elimination in their first-round playoff series by beating Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors 118-99 on Friday night in Game 6.
Now, a winner-takes-all Game 7 is back in Sacramento on Sunday afternoon.
Rookie Keegan Murray scored 15 points with four 3-pointers and grabbed 12 rebounds for his first playoff double-double, and the No. 3-seeded Kings withstood every scoring surge the defending champions made on their home court and shined in nearly every facet of this one with their special season on the line.
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Kevin Huerter, struggling with his shot all series — 20 of 52 coming into the game — hit a 3 with 6:23 to go and another with 4:58 left as Sacramento gave the state capital one more chance to Light the Beam.
Curry scored 29, Klay Thompson 22 and Kevon Looney pulled down 13 more rebounds to give him an NBA-leading 85 this postseason. He was coming off a career-high 22 rebounds in a Game 5 win at Golden 1 Center.
But the Kings, in the postseason for the first time since 2006, answered almost every big play by Golden State in the third quarter and capitalized on regular miscues. They outhustled the Warriors to the boards.
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The Kings led 90-80 heading into the final 12 minutes. Curry hit an early 3, only for Trey Lyles to connect moments later. When Curry drove for a layup the next possession, Monk made one of his own.
Curry’s 3 with 9:28 left got Golden State within 99-89 before Fox hit.
Fox’s first points came on a jumper with 2:18 left in the first on his first shot. He then scored again the next time down still dealing with a broken index finger on his shooting hand. He shot 10 for 18.
Sacramento snapped a six-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home floor dating to a win on Feb. 25, 2020.
Lyles wound up with 12 points and 10 rebounds as others picked up the slack with Domantas Sabonis in foul trouble. The big man had seven points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 5:17 left.
Fox had been frustrated with his poor fourth quarter in Wednesday’s 123-116 defeat in which he went 0 for 6 from the field and was scoreless — the most shots he had ever taken in a final period without scoring.
Draymond Green came off the bench for a third straight game and received a rousing standing ovation when checking in for the first time at the 6:26 mark of the opening quarter. He had 10 assists.
Both teams took a while to warm up, with Sacramento starting 6 for 23 and Golden State 6 of 19.
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Golden State guard Gary Payton II surprised mother Monique with his college diploma in person Friday morning. Payton had promised her he would finish his degree at Oregon State, and he did so recently to complete a major in human development and family science.
Kings: Sacramento’s bench outscored the Warriors’ reserves 52-21. … The Kings were 4 of 16 to start from deep but finished 17 of 45. … Sabonis suffered a cut under his left eye on a jump ball with Looney in the second quarter.
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Warriors: Curry missed three free throws, practically unheard of, as his team went 25 of 35 from the line. … The Warriors gave up 23 points on their 19 turnovers. … Green picked up his third foul at the 7:09 mark of the second quarter. … Golden State is 8-3 in Game 6s dating back to their 2015 title run and 22-11 in close-out games.