Twice the Golden Empire’s been down 3-2
And each time Klay Thompson knew just what to do
He splished, splashed, and washed the foes away
As I check the calendar, it appears the next game in the NBA Finals will be a Game 6 in the last ever game at Oracle Arena, home of champions. The Golden State Warriors, trailing 3-2 to the Toronto Raptors, will need all of the magic they can muster to survive and force a Game 7.
The dynasty stands today on the back of legendary performances from their heroes. Who can forget Stephen Curry’s “I’m Back” overtime explosion that turned Portland into ash? Or “Game 3 KD”, when Kevin Durant put Cleveland in the torture chamber in back-to-back Finals?
Fortunately, a special hero is due for an appearance Thursday night, as Game 6’s are to Klay Thompson what the Bat Signal is to Bruce Wayne.
May 28th, 2016: Game 6 Klay torments the OKC Thunder
A formidable Thunder team held a 3-2 advantage heading into this tilt in Chesapeake Energy Arena and led for much of the game before a historic explosion from a Splash Brother. Here’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss for ESPN recounting Thompson’s Game 6 scoring binge:
Thompson had been going bonkers over the entirety of the game, progressively so. His 41-point, playoff-record-setting 11 3-pointer performance had Warriors owner Joe Lacob so awed, so indebted, that the venture capitalist quite literally dropped to his knees and bowed before Thompson after the game.
Even if he was feeling it, Thompson’s ambition still was astounding under the circumstances. The comeback started with Thompson, feet askew, casting a 30-foot bomb through the net. The shot went up as Kerr was begging Thompson to move the ball.
”I remember looking at a woman sitting next to me in those really expensive courtside seats next to the coaches,” Kerr recalled. “She was in shock. I just looked at her and said, ‘I don’t know how he does it either.’ “
Does Thompson remember much from his signature playoff game?
”Barely,” he said, while fighting a battle with knots in his shoelaces.
It doesn’t get more clutch than staring down Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka in their building...and breaking the all-time postseason record for three-pointers in their face. If the Warriors lose that game and the Thunder go to the Finals, it’s widely speculated Durant never joins the Golden Empire.
Just don’t mention that night to KD!
May 26th, 2018: Game 6 Klay skewers the Rockets
Never forget, there was once a time that people legitimately thought Houston was better than Golden State. You can thank Thompson for guaranteeing that fantasy never came to reality, leading the Warriors charge back from a 3-2 deficit with a monster Game 6 performance in Oakland.
The Athletic’s lead Warriors columnist and friend of GSoM Marcus Thompson II described Thompson’s rapacious onslaught like this:
His 35 points defibrillated the Warriors’ offense when it looked as if all was lost. Over the first 16 minutes, 30 seconds of the second half, Thompson hit seven 3-pointers. The last punctuated a second-half detonation that crumbled Houston in the Warriors’ 115-86 rout, forcing a Game 7 for a trip to the NBA Finals.
It was the latest tale in a legend that keeps growing.
GSoM’s resident genius Eric Apricot broke that game down for our video channel on YouTube (don’t forget to like and subscribe!).
After the game, Klay Thompson told reporters he was “born for it”, something we can’t deny.
May 10th, 2019: Game 6 Klay buries the “If only Chris Paul was healthy” narrative forever
The Rockets claimed for a whole year they would have beat the Warriors in 2018 if CP3’s hamstring didn’t blow out. Yet, when KD went down with his calf injury during the rematch, the Rockets still got smacked. You can thank Game 6 Klay for making sure that happened while his Splash Bro Curry struggled early.
Per Paolo Uggetti’s recap for The Ringer:
In the first half, Curry picked up three fouls, played only 12 minutes, took five shots—and missed them all—and scored zero points for the first time in his playoff career. And yet Houston could do nothing but keep the game tied at halftime. That was, in large part, because Klay Thompson was the fire to Curry’s ice.
There’s something about Thompson and Game 6s. In the first half on Friday, Thompson scored 21 points, made five 3s, and drilled eight of his 15 field goals. In the regular season, there were 23 times when Thompson took 15 shots or fewer in the entire game. Usually when Thompson catches fire, the Warriors look like an unstoppable force, but in this context, he was more of a lifesaver.
Not gonna lie, rewatching all of that devastation has me a bit misty eyed. Will the legend of “Game 6 Klay” shine one more time? Tune in Thursday to find out!
2016 WCF, Game 6: 41 points (11 3-Pointers)— Kory E. Woods (@KoryEWoods) June 11, 2019
2018 WCF, Game 6: 35 points
2019 Western Semi Finals: 21 points in first half.
Will we see GAME 6 KLAY again in the FINAL game at Oracle? pic.twitter.com/jfcJiFKBRO
Klay Thompson on Game 6 being last game ever at Oracle: “I expect our fans to be the loudest they’ve ever been, especially in the name of Kevin ... there wouldn’t be banners if it wasn’t for him.”— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) June 12, 2019
Do you expect to see "Game 6 Klay" rise yet again in Oracle’s last game ever?
This poll is closed
Yes, we believe!
No, I’m a Raptor fan