Kings Come Back to Stun Warriors, Advance in Tournament


The Sacramento Kings pulled off a stunning comeback to defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-115 in the first round of the NBA Play-In Tournament on Wednesday night. The Kings erased a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter and clinched the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a buzzer-beating layup by Tyrese Haliburton.


Haliburton’s Heroics

The rookie guard was the hero of the night for the Kings, scoring 10 of his 22 points in the final period, including the game-winning basket. With 3.2 seconds left, Haliburton inbounded the ball to De’Aaron Fox, who drove to the basket and drew two defenders. Fox then passed the ball back to Haliburton, who cut to the rim and laid it in as time expired.

The Kings bench erupted in celebration, while the Warriors players looked stunned and dejected. Haliburton was mobbed by his teammates and coaches, who praised his poise and confidence in the clutch.

“He’s a special player, man. He’s got ice in his veins,” Fox said of Haliburton. “He made a great read and a great finish. I’m so proud of him and this team.”

Warriors’ Collapse

The Warriors had a commanding lead for most of the game, thanks to another stellar performance by Stephen Curry. The two-time MVP scored 45 points, making nine 3-pointers and breaking his own record for the most threes in a single season. Curry also added 10 assists and seven rebounds, becoming the first player in NBA history to average 30 points, five assists and five rebounds at age 33 or older.

However, Curry did not get much help from his teammates, who combined for only 70 points on 38.6% shooting. The Warriors also committed 18 turnovers, which the Kings converted into 28 points. The Warriors’ defense, which ranked fifth in the league in the regular season, collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Kings to score 41 points on 68.4% shooting.

The Warriors had a chance to seal the game in the final minute, but Curry missed a 3-pointer and Draymond Green missed two free throws. The Kings capitalized on the Warriors’ mistakes and completed their improbable comeback.

Kings’ Resilience

The Kings showed tremendous resilience and determination in their win over the Warriors. The Kings had a disappointing regular season, finishing 10th in the West with a 36-46 record. The Kings had not made the playoffs since 2006, the longest active drought in the NBA. The Kings also had to deal with several injuries and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, which affected their chemistry and consistency.

However, the Kings did not give up on their playoff hopes and fought their way into the play-in tournament. The Kings beat the San Antonio Spurs in the first game of the play-in, setting up a showdown with the Warriors. The Kings were the underdogs against the Warriors, who had won six of their last seven games and had the best player in the league in Curry.

The Kings did not let the odds or the score deter them, and they rallied from behind to pull off one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. The Kings became the first team to overcome a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a play-in or playoff game since the Los Angeles Clippers did it against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012.

What’s Next

The Kings will face the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Saturday. The Jazz had the best record in the NBA this season, with 60 wins and 22 losses. The Jazz have a balanced and deep team, led by All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The Jazz also have the best 3-point shooting and defense in the league, making them a formidable opponent for any team.

The Kings will have to play their best basketball to have a chance against the Jazz, who swept the season series 3-0. The Kings will rely on their young core of Fox, Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III, as well as their veteran leaders Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes. The Kings will also hope to get some contributions from their midseason acquisitions Delon Wright, Terence Davis and Moe Harkless.

The Kings will enter the playoffs as the underdogs, but they have proven that they can overcome adversity and defy expectations. The Kings will look to continue their Cinderella story and make some noise in the postseason.

The Warriors, on the other hand, will have to deal with the disappointment of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Warriors had high hopes of returning to contention after Curry recovered from his broken hand that sidelined him for most of last season. The Warriors also expected to have Klay Thompson back from his torn ACL, but he suffered a torn Achilles before the season started, which derailed the Warriors’ plans.

The Warriors will have to regroup and retool in the offseason, hoping to get Thompson back healthy and add some pieces to support Curry and Green. The Warriors will also have to decide on the future of some of their players, such as Kelly Oubre Jr., James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins. The Warriors will also have a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA draft, which could give them a chance to land a potential star.

The Warriors will try to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss and reclaim their status as one of the elite teams in the NBA.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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