After a historically bad start to the series, the Golden State Warriors are just a win away from stunning the Sacramento Kings.

The Warriors held on to take Game 5 of their opening-round series with the Kings 123-116 on Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The win, the Warriors’ third straight, gives them a 3-2 series lead and keeps their title defense alive.

The Kings, on the other hand, are now at serious risk of blowing a 2-0 series lead in what is their first playoff appearance in 16 seasons. The Warriors have won 14 of their last 15 games at the Chase Center, where Game 6 is set for Friday night.

Warriors rally, hold on late behind 31 points from Steph Curry

The Kings jumped up early, and even took a 10-point lead late in the first quarter. That, however, was the biggest it got. The Warriors closed the first half on a 11-0 run, which gave them a four-point lead. Klay Thompson dropped 11 of his 16 first-half points in the second quarter, and shot 4 of 6 from behind the arc.

The Warriors pushed that lead to nine after the third quarter, too, and then quickly to double digits early in the fourth.

It was then Malik Monk that almost single-handedly brought the Kings right back in it midway through the fourth. Monk sparked a 13-2 run midway through the period, and scored all but four points in that span, to suddenly cut the game back to a single point. The only Warriors bucket in that nearly five-minute span came from a Gary Payton II layup.

It wasn’t until a late burst that the Warriors finally put the Kings away. Andrew Wiggins hit a midrange jumper with 48 seconds left to push the Warriors back up by five points, and then Stephen Curry converted on a huge and-one layup to suddenly give them an eight-point lead. By then, it was too late for a Kings run. Golden State held on to take the seven-point win.

De’Aaron Foxwho played with a broken finger, led the Kings with 24 points and 9 assists, and Domantas Sabonis finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Monk finished with 21 points off the bench.

Curry led the Warriors with 31 points and 8 assists, but he shot just 2 of 10 from the 3-point line. Thompson added 25 points, and Wiggins finished with 20 points. Warriors center Kevon Looney, despite making only two layups, had an incredible 22 rebounds in the win.

Draymond Green, who was suspended earlier in the series for stomping on Sabonis’ chest and repeatedly got into it with Monk on Wednesday night, added 21 points off the bench for Golden State. It marked the most points he’s scored in a game since Christmas 2019.

Game 6 is Friday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco, where a win will send the Warriors to their seventh Western Conference semifinals in the last nine years.

By vin

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