The poetic thing about basketball is that, occasionally, it leaves you speechless. The Golden State Warriors, in particular, are a team that has the ability to do that.
We’ve seen it a lot in the past few years; even in the past few days, as Steph Curry’s 51-point game against the Washington Wizards can attest to.
And it was on full display on Monday night against the Chicago Bulls, at the team level, and at the individual level.
It started with Klay Thompson, who entered the game an Antarctica-cold 5-36 from beyond the arc.
He made one three. And then he made another. And then another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another.
When all was said and done, he had 14 of them, which set an NBA record. Steph Curry, who held the previous record of 13, was actively seeking out Thompson to try and get him the record-setting shot.
It was beautiful.
Along the way, Thompson also splashed in ten first-half threes, which set an NBA record for most threes in a first half, and tied the record for most threes in any half.
But he wasn’t alone. His teammates got in on the action, in their own record-setting way. As a unit, they made 17 threes in the first half - the most in NBA history for a half. It led to 92 first-half points - the most in franchise history.
And they finished with 24 triples - one off the all-time record, and the most in the history of the now-storied franchise.
The Warriors have set a franchise record for three-point field goals made with 24 (24-of-41 3FG). The NBA record for threes is 25 (Cleveland at Atlanta, March 3, 2017).— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) October 30, 2018
Everything about it left us speechless, so let’s let Klay show you what it was like, at least in the historic moment:
You want speechless? Try this for speechless: Klay had 52 points, and left the game midway through the third quarter, having played just 27 minutes.
Curry had 23 points, and attempted just nine shots.
Alfonzo McKinnie - a training camp invite who wasn’t supposed to have a puncher’s chance at making the roster of perhaps the greatest team in NBA history - had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while playing big first half minutes.
And despite the offensive explosion, there was defense, too. Golden State held Chicago to 50 points in the first half, which was an impressive stat given the pace of the game. When the starters left after getting Thompson the record, the bench started to throw some things away, and a spirited Bulls squad outscored the Warriors by 17 points in the second half.
But even with that sloppy, reserve-fueled half, the win was dominant, 149-124 in favor of the Dubs.
It was the team’s fifth win in a row. It was the most points they’ve scored this year.
But forget the results for a moment. Forget the standings.
It left us speechless, and that’s what really makes this team so special.