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Warrior Wonder: Klay Thompson’s first half

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It was a tale of two halves as Klay Thompson ignited for 27 points in the first half, before a strong team defensive performance saw the Warriors home.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Nothing could stop Klay Thompson, except the half-time break
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At halftime of the Golden State Warriors’ 97-84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, there was no question who the Warrior Wonder was.

Klay Thompson went on one of his “can’t miss” runs, igniting the Warriors after another sleepy start, and scorching the nets for 27 points from everywhere on the floor.

At one point he was 9-for-9 and it looked like we were in line for one of those games.

What was interesting about this explosion was that it really just came in the flow of the offense. The Warriors weren’t actively seeking him out, and he was just taking what the defense gave him.

That opened up some opportunities for others and Thompson, as has been the case this season, was happy to play the facilitator.

Defense

After the half though Thompson wasn’t quite in the same zone. Memphis bodied him up, and forced others to take, and make, some shots. All of a sudden the Warriors needed something else to seal the deal.

Enter the defense, which held the Grizzlies to just 22.7% in the second half, and only 10 field goals.

Perhaps the most surprising defensive moment arrived thanks to Nick Young of all people. Overall in the game though, he seemed more in tune with the team defense and used his length quite effectively.

Depth

Despite being short-handed again, the Warriors dug out another victory to make it ten in a row. With Kevin Durant struggling with his efficiency for a second game in a row — 22 points on 8-20 shooting — the Warriors needed every bit of their depth to see this one home.

Yet again the bench was led by David West, who is having a marvelous season. He finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block and a steal apiece.

Omri Casspi continued his fine play, finishing with 12 points and 6 assists. He also played the Andre Iguodala role of calming everyone down after a bit of a ragged beginning when he entered the game.

Much of his points yet again came off his uncanny cutting ability. This was perhaps the pick of the bunch, coming off some nice teamwork and a good find from West.

While West and Casspi have been two of the Warriors’ most consistent bench players this year, the same can’t be said for Patrick McCaw.

Tonight, though, McCaw looked much more active. He didn’t have the greatest shooting night, but McCaw finished with a career-high 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

And his one field goal was undoubtedly the play of the day.

It’s good to see McCaw being more aggressive. He’s disappointed some of the more optimistic expectations so far this season, but the lack of consistent playing time and role has clearly preyed on him more than others.

One good outcome from the Warriors injuries would be to get him in rhythm, playing and not overthinking, the curse of a young cerebral player.

And as the old saying goes “form is temporary, class is permanent.”

Overall a scrappy performance, briefly illuminated by some Klay Thompson pyrotechnics. It may not have been the prettiest win of the season, but when it comes to the final tally, they show up just the same.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Grizzlies?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Klay Thompson’s first half
    (181 votes)
  • 8%
    Omri Casspi’s cuts
    (24 votes)
  • 4%
    Pat McCaw’s dunk
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Nick Young’s block
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    David West
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Kevin Durant
    (3 votes)
  • 17%
    The second half defense
    (50 votes)
291 votes total Vote Now