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Klay Thompson scores 54 in Warriors wild double-overtime victory over Hawks

In a game that seemed like it would never end, Klay had one of the best performances of his career and Kevon Looney hit the game-winner.

Klay Thompson Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors won a wild 143-141 double-overtime game against the Atlanta Hawks in the team’s first game of 2023. Despite missing six rotation players, including Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins, the Dubs ended up on the winning side of one of the franchise’s wildest regular-season games ever. They improved to 20-18 on the season.

Golden State pounced on Atlanta’s lackluster perimeter defense early, with Klay Thompson catching fire and dropping 16 points in the first 12 minutes of regulation. The Dubs led 38-26 at the end of the first quarter.

While Poole was the Warriors second most important offensive player early, Anthony Lamb and Patrick Baldwin Jr. gave the Dubs some excellent minutes off the bench. The duo of stretch bigs combined to score 21 points in the first half on 8-for-12 shooting from the field. The Hawks, on the other end, were just 2-for-16 from three in the first half and trailed 70-53.

The Warriors lead slowly dissipated in the third quarter. The Hawks outside shooting bounced back and they briefly took a 95-94 lead in the final minute of the third quarter before the Dubs tied thing up at 95 just before the end of the quarter.

The Hawks went on a 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter and were ahead 115-106 with less than six minutes left in regulation. The Warriors countered with a strong defensive stretch and several offensive possessions that resulted in trips to the free-throw line. Yet, the Dubs missed a great opportunity when Thompson, Poole, and Donte DiVincenzo all missed threes on the same possession. Even though there was more than two minutes left on the clock, all three seemed to be rushing their shots.

As has often been the case recently, Draymond Green brought the intensity defensively in the final minutes to keep the Warriors within striking distance. Thompson finally converted a triple in the final minute to bring Golden State within a point. Then, after another stop, the Warriors had a chance to take the lead.

Poole drove inside, drew some contact from a Hawks defender, and dribbled the ball out of bounds off his knee. With Curry out, Poole’s turnover-prone tendencies matter even more in crunch time. It cost the Warriors an excellent opportunity.

With the shot clock off, Golden State fouled Trae Young, who made both free throws and gave the Hawks a 121-118 lead with 9.5 seconds left in regulation. The Dubs needed two timeouts to get the ball in bounds... and then something crazy happened.

The Warriors got Thompson free for a contested three from the left corner. It rimmed out. But Poole corralled the rebound and tried to create some space against Dejounte Murray, but his three-point shot was blocked. Then, the ball got tipped to DiVincenzo who caught the ball off a bounce, in rhythm, and tied things up at 121 with 0.6 seconds left in regulation.

In overtime, the Hawks quickly recovered from the shock of DiVincenzo’s shot, starting the five-minute period on a 5-0 run. And then, the Dubs answered. The Hawks had four empty possessions in a row while Thompson and Poole combined for an 8-0 run of their own.

Young ended Atlanta’s scoring drought in the final minute of overtime, knocking down a pair of free throws to cut the Hawks deficit to 129-128. Poole missed a three on the other end, and Young drew another foul with 30 seconds left on the clock. Young made two more free throws to take a 130-129 lead.

Out of a timeout, the Warriors put the ball in Klay’s hands. Dribbling at the top of the key, he took a step back against his former teammate Justin Holiday and knocked down the shot.

Dubs 132-130. 17.8 seconds remaining in overtime.

On the other end, Young drove inside, got a switch onto Lamb, and drew another foul. Young tied the game at 132 with 13.7 seconds left.

This time, the Warriors gave Poole the ball at the top of the key. He once again drove inside, drew contact, but unlike Young, did not get a favorable whistle and the ball bounced into the backcourt as the first overtime ended.

With both teams clearly gassed in the second overtime, Golden State was finally able to put the game away, in large part thanks to their dominance on the glass. The Warriors were routinely grabbing second and even third shots on several of their possessions, while Atlanta did not have a single offensive rebound in the second overtime. Leading 138-136 in the final minute, Green hit a wild forward-leaning three as the shot clock expired to put the Dubs ahead 141-136.

Murray quickly answered with a three of his own and Thompson missed a tough fadeaway on the other end. The Hawks had one more shot with 12.5 seconds remaining. Young found his way inside, and tied the game with a teardrop.

Out of timeouts, the Warriors scrambled in the final seconds. Thompson took a three that rimmed out, but Lamb and Kevon Looney were both there, hounding the offensive glass once again. After one missed tip off the backboard, Looney got the touch just right as time expired.

Warriors win 143-141.

Every member of the Hawks starting lineup scored double-digits, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 21 points off the bench. Dejounte Murray had Atlanta’s best line, recording 25 points (10-for-20 from the field), 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. John Collins had with an efficient 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Young led the Hawks with 30 points and 14 assists, but was just 8-for-22 from the field. Onyeka Okongwu also finished with a double-double.

For the Dubs, Thompson finished with a game-high 54 points (21-for-39 from the field) and 7 rebounds. His +13 plus/minus was also the best mark on either squad. Poole needed 32 shots from the field to accumulate 28 points alongside 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 turnovers. Green recorded 5 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. Kevon Looney finished with 14 points and 21 rebounds.

The Warriors will have one day off before they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, January 4th. Opening tip-off at the Chase Center is scheduled for 7:00 PM Pacific.

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