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Durant and Thompson are Warrior Wonder nominees for win over Kings

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Did KD’s 44-point explosion do enough to claim the nightly award over Klay’s game winner?

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a rocky four game losing streak rolled the collective eyes of Dub Nation, the back-to-back champions have battled through adversity to win their last two games. The swagger is returning after two wins in two consecutive nights despite missing two heavy hitters, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

Last night’s narrow 117-116 victory over the Kings was fueled by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson’s heroic performances. But which one is the Warriors Wonder?

The Case for Klay Thompson

31 points/4 rebounds/5 made threes

Back in 2016, GSoM graded the individual Warriors’ players seasons with help from the community. Here’s a quote Nate P. selected for posterity in regards to Thompson’s review:

From the GSoM community: “ANDROID KLAY NEEDS TO UPGRADE 2 FILES: They2smallernie.exe and dribbledrive.exe are two files the Android Death Bot Klay needs to download.” - GoldBloodedKing

Those prescient words were composed by yours truly, many moons before I ascended out of the comments section into my current position of the guy who barely has a social life because he has to recap Warriors games.

At the time, I believed Thompson would be an unstoppable force if he diversified his offense, adding a post-game for smaller defenders and attacking the offense to put pressure on bigger defenders. Two years later, Thompson clearly upgraded his software.

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT KLAY! Show them a complete game, baby! Clearly, his beard is inspiring a more aggressive performance. We’ve been seeing Thompson handling the ball with far more purpose this season, and in the absence of playmakers like Curry and Green, it’s great that Thompson can get from point A-to-B with his own handle.

Of course, he’s still a killer with the jumper.

The utter contempt he shows toward the Sacramento bench after drilling this bomb got me hyped from my couch last night. Thompson was clearly engaged by the young Kings’ challenge and wanted to send the message that they weren’t winning in Oracle.

But it was his final finishing move that truly brought the house down. Thompson had the ball on the wing with 7 seconds left, down by 1 point. Instead of settling for a tough jumper, or looking for Kevin Durant to bail him out, he took matters into his own hands.

He activated “dribbledrive.exe” and blew by his defender on a collision course with the 7-foot rim protector, Willie Cauley-Stein. BOOM! Thompson absorbed the initial contact and wildly flung the ball at the glass in what I initially thought was the worst foul-call baiting move in Warriors history.

But no, Thompson had a plan. He channeled hall-of-famer Moses Malone, using the quick rebound to his advantage, and banked in an easy put back.

And then he had the audacity to flex on them! KLAY THOMPSON FLEXED AFTER A GAME WINNER! I love it.

The Case for Kevin Durant

44 points/13 rebounds/7 assists/2 blocks

Did you know that Klay Thompson cutback was his only bucket of the entire fourth quarter? The Warriors may not have even been close enough for Thompson to flex on the Kings in crunch time if not for the SlimVP unleashing an NBA Classic level performance.

He was blocking shots!

He was hitting from deep!

He was cooking from mid-range!

13-of-26 shooting from the field. 16-of-17 shooting on free throws. The only blemish was his 7 turnovers as he tried to get his teammates involved. This was his season high in points, and his 20th career 40 point/10 rebound game.

When Durant gets it going, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder in the win vs the Kings?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Kevin Durant
    (123 votes)
  • 43%
    Klay Thompson
    (94 votes)
217 votes total Vote Now

Golden Sidekick Nominee: Damian Jones

Just a game or so ago, the calls for Jones to be sent down to the G-League were mounting from Dub Nation. He seemed generally lost and tentative, cemented by a 21 minute, 0 rebound performance in the loss to Oklahoma City.

“DJ” responded with perhaps the finest performance of his career, tallying 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, 6 rebounds, and a team leading plus/minus of +14. His energy was impressive; every time he was on the court something good seemed to happen.

Poll

Who was your Golden Sidekick vs the Kings?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Damian Jones
    (115 votes)
  • 8%
    Jonas Jerebko
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    Shaun Livingston
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    Kevon Looney
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    Andre Iguodala
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    Jordan Bell
    (8 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now