NBA playoffs

Steph Curry, Warriors hang on late to beat Kings, tie series at 2-2


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Steph Curry, Warriors hang on late to beat Kings, tie series at 2-2

STRONG DRIVE. Steph Curry in attack mode for the Warriors.

Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Warriors win back-to-back at home, surviving a crucial timeout violation late to draw level with the Kings in their Western Conference first-round playoff series

Stephen Curry had a team-high 32 points and the Golden State Warriors overcame a timeout violation in the final minute to hold off the Sacramento Kings, 126-125, and draw even in their playoff series in San Francisco on Sunday, April 23 (Monday, April 24, Manila time).

The Western Conference first-round series is tied 2-2, with the home team having won all four games. Game 5 will be Wednesday in Sacramento.

The defending champs led 126-121 and seemed to have the game in hand when Curry had possession of the ball in the backcourt as the clock ran under 45 seconds remaining. But the Golden State star then requested a timeout – one the Warriors no longer had available – and was assessed a technical foul as Golden State lost possession of the ball.

Malik Monk made it a four-point game by hitting the free throw, and when De’Aaron Fox buried a three-pointer with 28.1 seconds left, the Kings were suddenly within 126-125.

Sacramento then got the ball back when Curry missed a short jumper. But after a timeout, Harrison Barnes misfired on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, allowing the sixth-seeded Warriors to tie the series.

The third-seeded Kings trailed 102-92 after three quarters but jumped right back into the game by scoring the first 7 points of the final period. Domantas Sabonis and Davion Mitchell scored two-point baskets and Keegan Murray bombed in a three-pointer with still 10:43 to play.

The Kings took a brief 107-106 lead and were still within 121-119 after Fox made two free throws with 3:54 left. But Sacramento scored only 2 more points until the timeout mishap, allowing the Warriors to build enough of a lead and then hold on.

Klay Thompson backed Curry with 26 points for the Warriors, who out-shot the Kings 50% to 47.1%. Jordan Poole added 22 points, Andrew Wiggins 18, and Draymond Green 12.

Returning from a one-game suspension, Green came off the bench and still managed to complete a double-double with 10 rebounds to go with 7 assists.

Kevon Looney led all rebounders with 14 to complement 8 points and 6 assists.

Fox was the game’s leading scorer with 38 points and also gathered a team-high 9 rebounds for the Kings, who are making their first postseason appearance in 17 years.

Murray came up big with 23 points, while Monk had 16, Sabonis 14, and Mitchell 12. Sabonis also chipped in 7 rebounds, a game-high 8 assists, and 2 blocks. –

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