NBA: Kevon Looney's rebounding sparks Warriors into second round | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: Kevon Looney’s rebounding sparks Warriors into second round

/ 03:03 PM May 01, 2023

Kevon Looney Warriors NBA

Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter in game seven of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Golden 1 Center on April 30, 2023 in Sacramento, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

Steph Curry’s epic 50-point effort stole the spotlight but Kevon Looney grabbed 21 rebounds to deliver his own heroics Sunday as Golden State advanced in the NBA playoffs.

The 27-year-old center, a three-time NBA champion with the Warriors, helped Golden State win 120-100 at Sacramento to win their Western Conference series in seven games and reach the second round.

“They kicked our behind on the glass,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “Kevon Looney was unbelievable.”

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The Warriors pulled down 18 offensive rebounds, 13 in the third quarter alone, for 24 second-chance points. Looney grabbed 10 of them and helped Golden State take command in the second half.

“Kevon Looney just keeps doing it every night. I thought he controlled much of the game with his offensive boards,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“Looney is one of the best centers in the league. People don’t recognize it because he’s not dunking or shooting threes or all that stuff but this guy is a flat out winner and he’s a machine and we wouldn’t be here without him.”

Looney pulled down 20 or more rebounds three times in the series and stopping him will be a key goal for Anthony Davis when the Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round.

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“That’s just my job out there,” Looney said. “All the games we lost we kind of got beat up on the glass and as a big man is my job to show the tone with physicality and get extra possessions.

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“I was able to get a lot of boards tonight and a lot of extra possessions and help get the win.”

Looney admits he loves the “dirty work.”

“That’s what makes our team special. Everybody accepts their role,” he said. “For me it’s rebounding, setting screens, getting those guys open. When everything is clicking on all cylinders, we’re really tough to beat.

“We knew we had the talent to win. We just had to go out there with the mental focus and we did that tonight.”

Curry too hot for Kings

No one was more mentally into his job than Curry, who set a career playoff high and scored the most points in any NBA game seven.

“Total domination,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said. “That’s the guy you want to go to war with. He left no doubt. That’s absolutely incredible.”

Looney said he will never forget Curry’s iconic effort.

“Once you think he can’t get any better or set any more records, he comes and does something like tonight,” Looney said.

“He continues to get better. He has been a great leader for us. He sets the tone that we’re not going to lose. He raises the level of every player.

“Performances like this are something you will remember the rest of your life.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Curry’s performance “incredible” and “sublime” and said improved on-court spacing allowed him to be more aggressive.

“We all take him for granted because he’s brilliant night after night and we’ve been watching this for 10 years,” Kerr said.

“You just have to remind yourself, big picture, this is one of the best players in the history of the game.”

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Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox marveled at Curry’s moves.

“One of the greatest players ever,” Fox said. “He makes tough shots, gets in the lane. He’s able to finish. he did everything for them. Once he got going it was tough for us to slow him down.”

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TAGS: Golden State Warriors, Kevon Looney, NBA

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