Huerter recalls Thompson’s gesture after Kings’ playoff win vs. Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Kings head into their matchup with Golden State on Wednesday at Chase Center admiring the Warriors’ experience, especially after the two teams’ recent history.
Kevin Huerter, in particular, still thinks about his Warriors counterpart, Klay Thompson, and how he embodied Golden State’s comfortability during the 2023 NBA playoffs with a confident gesture after the Kings’ Game 2 win.
On Halloween, Sacramento’s starting shooting guard appeared on “All the Smoke” with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, detailing the memorable move Thompson made toward Sacramento’s bench after the Warriors’ postseason loss.
“I remember we won Game 2, I believe it was close at the end,” Huerter told Barnes and Jackson. Steph [Curry] missed a game-tying shot. And so, Klay is walking down the court looking at our bench, nodding his head like, ‘Alright, we got a series.’ And I remember thinking of that, like, he knew it wasn’t over. And when we went into the locker room, it was all business. We didn’t get ahead of ourselves. But I remember, there was never any wavering from their side.”
Thompson’s head-nodding led Huerter to recognize the calmness the Warriors exuded while freshly trailing 2-0 in the series to Sacramento.
While the Kings held the advantage, Huerter knew that finishing off the Warriors wouldn’t be anything close to easy, considering their championship DNA.
But besides preserving composure on the floor, Golden State was well-conditioned, which caught Huerter off guard due to the Warriors’ older age.
“The Warriors, every single team, wear the other team down,” Huerter explained to Barnes and Jackson. “Their fitness level, their offense, they flip it on you. So, we knew that going into it. We were the younger team. Those guys have been doing it for a long time. We were a deep team all year. At least at the start of the series, we were like, ‘Alright, we’re going to throw bodies at them.’ Those guys just don’t get tired. I think what was most impressive. Their efficiency level just never dropped at any point in that series.”
Although the Warriors have the Kings’ number and respect, the two teams always provide fireworks when sharing the hardwood.
On Wednesday, Sacramento will be searching for their first win over Golden State since Game 6 of last year’s first round, when the Kings forced an infamous Game 7.