It was the Sacramento Kings‘ first playoff game since May 5, 2006, which was played at the ARCO Arena, in an atmosphere everyone dreams of playing in.
And wouldn’t you know it – their first playoff game in almost 17 years was against the defending NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors.
No pressure for the Kings, apparently – they took home an instant classic in Game 1 of their first-round series, 126-123.
After trailing by as many as 10, the Kings took a 91-90 lead with just 3.1 seconds left in the third quarter, their first lead since it was 44-42 in their favor way back when there were over six minutes left in the second quarter. They ended the third quarter on a 15-4 run.
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After trailing by two, Sacramento went on a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead with 2:35 to go, their largest of the night. But Golden State wasn’t dead yet, as they had the ball down one with the shot clock turned off. However, Andrew Wiggins missed a wide-open three with 10.3 seconds left. Damontas Sabonis grabbed the defensive rebound, and the Kings wasted some clock – Malik Monk knocked a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds left, yet the Warriors had the ball with a chance to send the game into overtime.
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Out of the timeout, Draymond Green inbounded to Stephen Curry who attempted a float-type three, but he bricked it off the back iron, and the Kings prevailed.
Sacramento leads the series 1-0, and the beam is lit in California’s capital.
De’Aaron Fox went off in his playoff debut – he dropped 38 points, 15 of them in the fourth quarter. He went 13 for 27 from the floor, and 4-for-8 from three-point land. Monk went 14-for-14 from the free throw line en route to 32 points off the bench.
Curry led the Warriors with 30 points, knocking six of his 14 three-point shots.
Golden State, despite being the sixth-seed with the Kings earning the No. 3 spot, were the odds-on favorites to win the series. However, it now is officially anyone’s to take.
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Game 2 is back at the Golden 1 Center on Monday night.