OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson tried to mask his grin as he mulled over the box score from his record breaking night. He tried to hide his smile about as hard as Monta Ellis tried to guard Thompson during the game.
Neither were very successful.
“Sixty points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that,” said Thompson when asked if he could of scored 80 points, which was theoretically within reach.
Klay broke the NBA record for most points scored in under 30 minutes of playing time and became the first Warrior to post 60 points in a game since Rick Barry dropped 64 against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1974.
But Klay is not the first player to score at least 60 points through three quarters of play. Kobe Bryant achieved the very same feat in 2005 when he scored 62 points against the Dallas Mavericks in 33 minutes.
However those two games were very, very different.
Bryant shot a respectable 18-of-31 (58%) from the floor including four 3-pointers. He also connected on 22 of his 25 free throw attempts which gives us a better idea into Kobe’s game and mentality as a player.
The Lakers assisted on just eight of Kobe’s 18 made field goals. If you go back and re-watch the film it’s mostly Kobe dribbling through two and sometimes three or even four defenders to get a shot off, with most attempts resulting in a trip to the free throw line.
As Kobe closed in on 60 points towards the end of a ridiculous 30 point 3rd quarter, his teammates could really care less. It was basically Kobe vs. the Mavericks with four other guys rebounding and playing defense. And it showed in the body language of the Lakers’ supporting cast.
This is what separates the Golden State Warriors from, well, everybody. Their genuine love for one another and the joy they take in others’ success.
The Warriors assisted on 20 of Klay’s 21 made field goals. He touched the ball 52 times and took only 11 dribbles on his 21 makes. 11 dribbles! His total possession of the basketball in which he scored his 60 points on the night was a mere 90 seconds.
Klay was hot. Everybody knew he was hot and the Warriors continued to make a concerted effort to feed him.
Stephen Curry said after the game, “Obviously, if a guy like that gets hot, you want to get it to him, but the other team knows that as well.”
As I said, EVERYBODY knew Klay was hot, including Paul George and the Indiana Pacers.
“There just became a point where they were just looking for one guy. That fueled them. That fueled him,” said a befuddled George after the game. “That fueled the other four that were out there. They all were looking to just give him looks and get him open. We should’ve taken that a little bit to heart.”
Klay was feeding off of his team mates in the same way that the Warriors were feeding off of him. This culminated when Thompson riffled off a turn around fade away three in the corner over Monta Ellis in front of the Warriors bench.
The bench exploded in celebration, prompting Curry to run down the tunnel in spontaneous joy. And you better believe that Klay took notice.
“I saw it on the replay. It makes you feel good when your teammates are so happy for you,” Klay admitted in an earnest tone. “I’ve seen Steph do it countless times, and he inspires me to be an even better shooter every day.”
The comradery and joy that this Golden State Warriors team takes in the success of one another is extremely encouraging and on the verge of terrifying for opposing teams.
Golden State assisted on 45 of their 54 made field goals. They shot 52% from the field and scored 142 points. Their ‘third option’ just scored 60 points in under 30 minutes.
Some might say the Warriors have hit their offensive peak.
But Klay, not so much.
“I don’t think so, we’re only 21 games in,” said Thompson on the Warriors’ offense. “There’s definitely another gear.”
Via Warriors PR
- Klay Thompson broke the hearts of females everywhere when he stated that he would give the rose that owner Joe Lacob gave him after the game to his dog, Rocco.
- Steph Curry recorded 11 assists with zero turnovers, just the fourth time in his career that he tallied double-digit assists with no turnovers in a game.
- Javale McGee continues to see an increase in playing time, grabbing a season-high eight rebounds in a season-high 15 minutes of play.
- Draymond Green dished out seven assists in the first quarter which ties his career-high for assists in a single quarter.
- Golden State recorded 15 assists in the first quarter, tying a franchise record for assists in a quarter (previously achieved on 2/18/66 vs. Boston and matched on 11/2/91 vs. Sacramento).
- The Warriors sold out their 200th consecutive game at Oracle Arena.
- Golden State scored a season-high 62 points in the paint (31-of-48 FG).
- The Warriors blocked 13 shots tonight, the team’s fifth game with double-digit blocks this season, which is best in the NBA this season.
- Golden State exploded for 42 points in the second quarter, the team’s NBA-best sixth 40-point quarter this season.