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Warrior Wonder: Klay Thompson and his right hand smoke the New York Knicks

Thompson’s 43 points (going 7/16 from three-point range) helps the Warriors bury a visiting Knicks squad.

NBA: New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When you’re a veteran team with championship aspirations expectations, getting motivated to play a lottery-bound team on a weekday night can be quite difficult. That was the challenge the Warriors faced when they welcomed the New York Knicks to Oracle Arena on Tuesday night.

In these kinds of games, you need your star players to step up and get hot so you can make quick work of your opponent. With apologies to Stephen Curry (14 points, 14 assists, 7 rebounds, and a +36) and Draymond Green (10 assists, 11 rebounds, and active defense), the Warriors got one of those performances against the Knicks from Klay Thompson.

Thompson provided exactly what the Warriors needed on Tuesday night. Thompson scored 43 points in the win over the New York Knicks, his highest-scoring performance since his historic three-point shooting night in late October against the Chicago Bulls. It was Thompson’s second game of the season when he’s scored 40+ points and the 12th time in his career.

For a player who has had some well-documented struggles this season, seeing Thompson get hot and effectively put an opposing team away on his own was a welcome sight.

A classic performance from three-point range

Thompson did most of his damage from beyond the three-point line against the Knicks, certainly not surprising for the Splash Brother. Thompson shot 7/16 from three-point range, the most three-pointers he’s made in one game this season since that game in Chicago.

NBA: New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors
Thompson’s shooting on Tuesday night had his Splash Brother Curry fired up.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Thompson got his first three-pointer of the night courtesy of some outstanding ball movement.

Meanwhile, Thompson’s sixth and seventh makes from long distance were the result of him being in a good rhythm and letting the shots fly.

While the Knicks fought hard in the first half to keep things close, once those shots started falling for Thompson you knew that there wasn’t going to be much competitive basketball left in this game.

Fewer dribbles make for a better performance

On those three-point makes, Thompson puts the shot up quicker rather than bringing it down and dribbling before shooting the ball. During that extended slump he suffered through in December, Thompson seemed to hesitate when he got a good look at a shot. That slight hesitation, just taking one extra dribble or waiting one additional second before getting rid of the ball, would take him out of his natural rhythm and lead to some ugly misses.

In this game, Thompson was much better this, not doing anything that would throw off his rhythm.

In fact, he only dribbled the ball four times on Thursday night, as documented by the NBATV Twitter account:

Great three-point shooting, minimal dribbling, Tuesday night was Thompson doing what he does best.

Thompson all smiles postgame

After the game, Thompson was feeling happy ( deservedly so) after such a strong performance.

Halfway (or, as Thompson put it, a third of the way given their title hopes) through a season that has had more downs than ups, it must’ve felt good for Thompson to get this game and for the Warriors to put together a blowout win.

Both times the Warriors have played the Knicks this season, the chatter regarding their potential overtures to Kevin Durant in free agency this summer became oppressively loud.

On Tuesday night, Thompson put on full display everything he’d be leaving behind if he decided to move on from the Bay Area. Looking at what Thompson can bring to the table and looking at what the Knicks have, it’s really hard to imagine Durant opting for a change.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder against the New York Knicks?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Klay Thompson
    (131 votes)
  • 1%
    Stephen Curry
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Draymond Green
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Kevin Durant
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Kevon Looney
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Andre Iguodala
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Jonas Jerebko
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Alfonzo McKinnie
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Quinn Cook
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Jacob Evans III
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Jordan Bell
    (2 votes)
141 votes total Vote Now

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