Steph Curry is mounting an MVP case and Klay Thompson has looked better in his return than anyone could have expected, but we haven’t yet seen a vintage Splash Brothers performance. Or at least we hadn’t until Thursday, when Steph and Klay did the damn thing, and led the Golden State Warriors past the Sacramento Kings.
They got the party started early, with eight points apiece in the first quarter — a quarter that featured both 9-0 and 13-0 runs, culminating in a 34-23 lead when the buzzer rang.
And then came the second quarter, and with it the type of hot that only Klay Thompson is capable of.
Klay drained four shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter, but that doesn’t accurately depict the story. After the fourth one, he and Curry had combined for 28 points ... and hadn’t missed a single basket, from inside the arc, outside the arc, or at the free throw line.
Chase Center was rocking, and Klay had every fan in the palm of his hands.
KLAY THOMPSON ARE YOU KIDDING ⁉️— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 4, 2022
5-for-5 from wayyyy downtown pic.twitter.com/8NBT17UjOu
Before anyone knew it, the Warriors were up 26, and it turns out they needed all of that lead. Sacramento cut the deficit to 19 points entering halftime, and the Dubs came out rather lackadaisically in the third quarter, losing their offense a bit as the Kings clawed back, making it an 11-point game entering the final frame.
From there, the Kings kept digging, eventually getting as close as five points before the Warriors woke up and sprung to action. At that point the ball movement returned, the open threes came back, and, crucially, Jonathan Kuminga decided to make a late case for the Slam Dunk Contest. The rookie had a staggering four dunks in the final frame alone, and they weren’t of the garden variety, either. They were emphatic, aggressive, agile rim-rattlers that breathed energy into the building.
I guarantee you that this is one of the best sequences you’ll see all season:
Led by Kuminga’s charge, the Warriors took off again and floated past Sactown for a 126-114 victory, securing their eighth straight win and gaining a game on the Phoenix Suns, who lost to the Atlanta Hawks earlier in the night.
Thompson finished with 23 points and 7 assists in just 24 minutes of action, shooting 8-for-11 from the field and 7-for-9 from distance, while Curry dropped in 20 points and 7 assists on 7-for-11 shooting, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Kuminga added in a highly-efficient 18 points and 7 rebounds on 8-for-10 shooting (though he fouled out), and four other Warriors (Damion Lee, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney) tallied double figures.
The Dubs now get three days off — their first free weekend of the season — before paying a visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.