It had all the makings of a thriller. The Golden State Warriors, grizzled defending champs, entering hostile territory against the upstart Sacramento Kings, making the franchise’s first NBA playoff appearance since 2006 and led by a core of talented young players.
Yet Warriors superstar Steph Curry on Sunday did what only a four-time champion and two-time league MVP could do: scored 50 points and turned what should have been a nail-biter into a blowout victory, 120-100.
Curry’s 50 points are an all-time record for the most points in any Game 7 in the history of the NBA. He also managed to snag eight rebounds and dish out six assists in his 38 minutes of action.
“There is a reason he is a two-time MVP, a Finals MVP, because he pushes us over the top in moments like this,” Warriors teammate and fellow “splash brother” Klay Thompson said, according to ESPN. “When he’s in the zone like that, you try to just get him in his spots, get him the ball and get out of the way. This is a Game 7 I will forever remember as the Steph Curry game.”
STEPH CURRY'S 50-POINT GAME 7.
EVERY SINGLE POINT.#PLAYOFFMODE
He'll be back in action on Tuesday night 🍿
LAL/GSW Game 1: 10 PM ET on TNT pic.twitter.com/RwmH97S7O5
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2023
As the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, Golden State now advances to face LeBron James and the No. 7-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, who knocked off the Memphis Grizzlies. Game 1 of the second-round series is set to tip off on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET in San Francisco.
Warriors fans are hoping this season ends the same way as last, with Curry and his teammates hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy as NBA champions. If Golden State were to pull it off, it would be the second championship repeat for the franchise (2017, 2018) and the fifth title overall in the last nine years.
After last season’s victory in Game 6 to capture the title against the Boston Celtics, Curry was named NBA Finals MVP (his first ever). In an on-court interview following the win, Curry gave praise to God.
“I’m so proud of our group,” Curry said. “I thank God every day I get to play this game at the highest level with some amazing people.”
A few moments later in the opening comments of his postgame press conference, he said, “God is great. The ability to be able to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates … this one hits different for sure.”
The 35-year-old Curry has been outspoken about his faith since his arrival in the league as the Warriors’ No. 7 overall pick out of Davidson in 2009. He describes himself as a “believer” and lists the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 in his Twitter and Instagram bios.
In May 2019, Curry released a new episode of his Facebook series “Stephen vs. The Game” that he dedicated to his faith.
“I put ‘believer’ first,” Curry said in the episode, referring to his social media channels, “because that is supposed to be the roots of everything that I do as a believer, as a husband, as a father, and on down from there.”
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Curry detailed in the episode how his childhood consisted of trips to church on Wednesdays and Sundays with his family as well as early-morning family devotionals before school.
However, Curry viewed Christianity as his parents’ faith until a memorable moment in eighth grade when his pastor, Pastor Jason, explained the importance of having your own relationship with God and not relying on the faith of those He’s put around you.
“I felt a calling,” Curry said, “went down to the altar and gave my life to Christ. That became the beginning of my own personal journey.”
He continued later: “My faith is about the personal relationship, more so than following a certain religious tradition or practice. Challenges you to make sure that you are feeding your spirit with the right things versus what the world is throwing at us.”
Curry is already perhaps the greatest shooter in NBA history. And as he keeps climbing the ladder of the best all-around players of all time, he will seek to continue to be fed by his faith in God.
– Steph Curry leads Warriors to NBA title, earns 1st Finals MVP: ‘God is great’
– Focus on faith, Steph Curry leads Golden State back to NBA Finals
– Steph Curry gives ‘All glory to God’ after career-best 62-point performance
– New L.A. Lakers coach Darvin Ham: God is the ‘Master of all plans’
– Boston Celtics’ Al Horford believes his ‘purpose in life is to please God’