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Today on ABC7: Warriors take on Kings in Game 7 of NBA playoffs in Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — His team cowering before speaking, Harrison Barnes shouted a message to the Kings with their special season on the line: “Leave it all on the floor and bring this streak back to Sac!”

With spectacular performances from both sides against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, the Kings return to Sacramento for Game 7 against the defending champions.

Malik Monk can only imagine what a win-win showdown could look like with a chance to extend this long-awaited playoff series as all those fans try to push their kings through to the second round.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry moves the ball while defended by Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis, during Game 6 in San Francisco, Friday, April 28, 2023.

Godofredo A. Vasquez

For Curry and Co., there’s no need to imagine – they know what harsh road environments look like for elimination games, having been there so many times over the past decade on their way to four titles. .

“Man, I’ve never been to Game 7, so I don’t know. I don’t know what to expect,” Monk said. “I just know I’m going to go out there and play 110 per cent, give it my all and keep doing what I’ve been doing, and that’s attacking the rim and making plays for my teammates. So I’m going to be ready.”

RELATED: 2023 NBA Playoffs: Warriors vs Kings Schedule, Know It All

Facing elimination, the upstart Sacramento shone on both ends and seemed to barely feel any added pressure in a 118-99 victory in Game 6 on Friday night.

Every time Curry has worked his offensive magic, Monk or Fox or Keegan Murray has done something brilliant on their own. With big man Domantas Sabonis struggling, others like Trey Lyles came to calm a fanbase dreaming of a repeat Warriors title.

“We’ve put ourselves in a situation where we have to be the team that plays in desperation, obviously on the road in a Game 7. There’s a lot of belief that we can do that,” Curry said. “There’s a lot of belief in every guy that’s going to be out there on the pitch, that we can make the necessary adjustments. If it’s about energy, that’s something you can control and correct. So you have to take the challenge of what lies ahead and try to go and get the job done.”

If the Kings got a glimpse of their home-court advantage in the first two games of this series, Golden 1 Center could be on another level on Sunday.

“It’s going to be great. We’ve had some loud games this year,” De’Aaron Fox said. “Coming out for Game 1, I think our guys were amazed at what was going on. But going back for Game 7, I feel like not everyone is experiencing Game 7, but few people have experienced a Game 7 in Sacramento.”

Coach of the Year Mike Brown joked that he had no “magic dust” about what to do against the Warriors other than to compete with the same physical authority on both sides. as he has seen Golden State thrive through all of the toughest times.

Brown was the Warriors’ top assist before joining the Kings.

“We’re going to have to play our best. Again, they’re the champions,” he said. “We’re going to have to play at elite level for 48 minutes against these guys because they’re going to bring it, believe me.”

All that work to earn the No. 3 seed and home court now matters to these Kings — “that’s part of the reason we’ve been kicking our ass all year,” Brown said.

The Warriors, meanwhile, need to regroup and try to regain the energy and efficiency they had in a 123-116 victory Wednesday at the Golden 1 Center. On Friday, they missed 10 free throws while shooting 35 – three Curry couldn’t convert and three missed by Andrew Wiggins. Klay Thompson shot 2 for 9 from 3-point range.

“When I said it was the best win of the season, Game 5, it’s probably the worst loss of the season, but we don’t have time to put our heads down,” Thompson said. “Fortunately for us, we have yet another chance. I still believe in this team that we can go and do it on the road. It will be a tough task but we are ready and I know we will respond.”

Curry is counting on that too and knows it will start with smart basketball despite the tough atmosphere.

“Coming out with a sense of composure is a great thing, especially if you’re on the road because it’s going to be hostile and their audience is going to be in it,” Curry said.

Brown has embraced the idea that his young team is learning on the fly in what is the first playoff series for most. Every game, every situation offers new experiences and opportunities for growth.

He’s thrilled with how the Kings handled outside noise, like anyone who’s counted Sacramento out of this series before the ball even tipped over in Game 1.

“The job isn’t done,” Brown said, “so we have to see how we’re going to react in a Game 7 for the first time as a group.”

WARRIORS AMONG KINGS

Series tied at 3 all. Game 7, 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC

MUST KNOW: The Warriors — trying to go 19-0 in the playoffs against Western Conference opponents under coach Steve Kerr dating back to the team’s 2014-15 title run — know every mistake will be magnified after their 18 turnovers led to 23 Kings points in Game 6.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Kevin Huerter of Sacramento. After struggling the entire series with his shot – 20 of 52 in the first five games – the fifth-year forward hit two crucial 3s in the streak and could have a performance to build on heading into the deciding Game 7. “You n you have no idea. It feels good,” he said. “I just have to see the ball go in sometimes.”

INJURY WATCH: Sabonis has a cut under his left eye after being hit on a jump ball by Kevon Looney. Fox insists he’s fine despite the broken index finger of his shooting hand. He scored 26 points on 10 shooting for 18 and had 11 assists, but will look to reduce turnovers after committing 11 in the past two games. “I feel good. Obviously sometimes it’s going to hurt, but that’s the way it is,” Fox said.

THE PRESSURE IS ON: Golden State won once on the Kings’ home court in Game 5 after a dismal regular season on the road and now the defending champions must find a way to calm the playoff-starved Sacramento crowd to salvage the season after having lost Games 1 and 2 at the Golden 1 Center.

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