Warriors Pound Pacers Behind Thompson’s Historic Night
Thompson Notches Golden State's First 60-Point Game in 42 Years
The Warriors closed out their homestand on a winning note, defeating the Pacers 142-106 on Monday on a night Klay Thompson will never forget. Thompson was on fire from the tip, totaling a career-high 60 points in just 29 minutes of action, making him the first player in NBA history to score 60 points in a game in fewer than 30 minutes played. Kevin Durant added 20 points and eight rebounds, while Stephen Curry and Draymond Green dished out 11 and 10 assists, respectively. With the victory, Golden State improves to 18-3 on the season.
Within the opening minutes, it was readily apparent that Klay Thompson was on his way to a special night. His three-pointer less than 90 seconds into the game gave Golden State a 5-0 lead, and his 21-foot jumper from the corner two minutes later gave the Dubs a 10-7 cushion. Paul George responded with consecutive baskets to give Indiana a momentary 11-10 advantage, but that would turn out to be the Pacers one and only lead of the entire night, as Thompson’s jumper with 6:56 remaining in the first frame put the Warriors in front for good. He’d go on to total 17 points in the quarter, with all eight of his converted field goals coming by way of an assist. In fact, Golden State totaled 15 assists in the frame, tying the franchise for most assists in a quarter in the process. The Dubs took a commanding 38-27 lead at the end of one, and thanks in large part to Thompson, it would continue to grow from there.
Unfortunately for the Pacers, Thompson’s night was just getting started, as the first quarter turned out to be his lowest point total of any frame he played in. He began the second quarter on the bench, but entered at the 9:10 mark and converted a layup 15 seconds thereafter. Two minutes later, he sank the second of his eight three-pointers in the contest, igniting one of the scorched earth shooting streaks that he has become known for. He’d go on to make two more treys within the ensuing 51 seconds to put Golden State up 59-39 halfway through the second quarter, and would add one more with 28 seconds left to give him 40 points and his team an 80-50 lead going into halftime. His 40 points set a new career-high for points in a half, and made him the first player in the NBA to do so since Jimmy Butler scored 40 for the Bulls back on January 3rd of this year. Meanwhile, Golden State matched their season-high for points in a half, which made them the only team with multiple 80-point halves this season. Much of the Dubs’ damage was accomplished through unselfish play, as the Warriors totaled 25 assists in the first half, while turning the ball over just twice in the process. For reference, Golden State entered the evening as the only team in the NBA averaging at least 25 assists per game this season.
Thompson and the Warriors opened the second half in the same manner they closed the first – that is, on fire. Thompson scored back-to-back baskets to rebuild Golden State’s lead to 86-56 with 9:32 left in the third frame, after which Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant combined for one of the more spectacular alley-oops that you’ll ever see:
That was just a brief intermission from the Klay Thompson Show, however, as Thompson resumed his scoring binge on Golden State’s next offensive possession, and carried it all the way to a career-best scoring effort. He hit the first of two free throws at the 4:45 mark to give him 51 points in the game, tying him with Russell Westbrook for the most points scored in a single game this season. Thompson would actually miss the second attempt from the charity stripe, but after Zaza Pachulia corralled the offensive rebound, he found Thompson in the corner, who promptly drained another three-pointer to set a new career-high with 54 points, topping his previous best of 52. He wasn’t done yet, however, as the reigning Three-Point Contest winner would drain two more treys, the last of which gave him a grand total of 60 points on the night before Steve Kerr subbed him out for good with 2:28 remaining in the quarter. Golden State would take a 116-83 lead into the fourth and final frame, but the crowd was still abuzz from Thompson’s electric night, and rightfully so.
His 60 points through three quarters were the second-most scored by any player in the last 20 years, trailing only Kobe Bryant’s 62-point effort during the 2005-06 season. He joined Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors ever to score 60 points in a game, and gave Golden State their first 60-point game since Barry scored 64 points on March 26, 1974 against Portland. All the more impressive, he accomplished the feat in just 29 minutes played, making him the first player in NBA history to score at least 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes of action.
There remained a fourth quarter left to play, but for all intents and purposes, the game was over. Indiana trimmed Golden State’s lead down to 30 points on Joe Young’s jumper with 8:10 remaining, but the Warriors responded with a 12-2 run, taking their largest lead of the entire night on Ian Clark’s three-pointer that put them up 132-92 with 6:03 left to play. Clark would provide the assist on Patrick McCaw’s three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to build Golden State’s lead to 40 points once again before Young closed out the scoring with consecutive jumpers to finish of the Warriors’ 142-106 victory.
With the win, Golden State improves to 18-3 on the season. Now having completed their five-game homestand, the Warriors will head out on a five-game road trip, beginning on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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