Curry scores 36, Warriors beat Kings 114-97 without Green

LEADING up to Game 3, Steve Kerr shared with Golden State’s players his favorite John Wooden quote of all time: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

He challenged the Warriors to take better shots and be more careful with the ball to limit turnovers, and to rebound — rebound hard and with heart — then the reigning champions went out and dominated, missing two of their top defenders, including suspended star Draymond Green.

Stephen Curry scored 36 points, Kevon Looney matched his career high with 20 rebounds to go with nine assists, and Golden State got right back in its first-round playoff series by thumping the Sacramento Kings 114-97 on Thursday night (Friday morning, April 21, 2023 PH time) to pull to 2-1.

“We’re a team with a lot of pride, we know how to respond when our back’s against the wall, we always usually show up,” Looney said. “I think Draymond knew that. Without him playing he knew how we were going to respond. He knew he could count on us to hold down the fort while he’s out. We’re excited to get him back next game.”

The fiery forward was suspended without pay for stepping on the chest of Domantas Sabonis in the fourth quarter of Monday’s Game 2 at Golden 1 Center. The Warriors also were without key defensive stopper Gary Payton II after the guard became ill Wednesday (Thursday PH time).

Curry shot 12 for 25 with six 3s, while Andrew Wiggins added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, who never trailed and will now try to even the best-of-seven series in Game 4 on Sunday (Monday PH time) back on their home court at Chase Center.

“You have to understand that these guys aren’t going to lay down,” Barnes said. “They have a lot of pride. They’ve won a championship. ”

NBA Coach of the Year Mike Brown, who received a shipment of new Vans sneakers, warned of what might happen if his Kings let down even in the slightest: “If we’re overconfident we’re going to get our behinds handed to us because these guys are champions.”

Curry and Co. showed it — at least for one game. He told TNT afterward: “They say Draymond’s got a history, so do we.”

“I like the momentum that we created tonight, we just got to take advantage of it,” Curry said, crediting his team for “coming with the right energy to kind of prove that we can create some life for ourselves. Pretty bluntly, if we lose this game it’s pretty much over.” (AP)