Klay conjures 29 minutes of shooting magic
Klay Thompson wanted one more quarter on Monday night.
He wanted to score 80 points — and thinks he absolutely could have.
That’s hard to argue after Thompson notched 60 points in 29 head-shaking, jawdropping, defense-breaking minutes.
He had an NBA seasonhigh and career-best performance for the highestscoring output by a Golden State player in more than 42 years as the Warriors whipped the Indiana Pacers 142-106.
“Who knows? I know he would have kept shooting,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Klay’s never going to stop shooting.”
Thompson raised his arms to encourage more of those steady “Klay! Klay! Klay!” chants, then let it fly again and again.
He had 60 through three and called it a night, sitting down with 1:22 left in the period as fans jumped to their feet for an extended standing ovation.
“It’s just unfortunate that the two times I got my career high I didn’t get to play the last quarter,” Thompson said.
He scored 40 by halftime in just 18-plus minutes. Nearly two years ago, Thompson had a 37-point quarter on the way to 52 points against Sacramento.
Thompson joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors to score 60 points.
Barry was the last to do so, going off for 64 on March 26, 1974, against Portland.
Now, Thompson hopes he gets a chance to go for more.
“Maybe. I think I could have. Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity,” he said, “But 60 points in 29 minutes is not too bad.”
Thompson shot 21 for 33 and 8 of 14 on 3-pointers — 15 of 22 with five 3s in the first two quarters — and converted 10 of 11 free throws in 29 minutes.
When he knocked down a turnaround baseline 3 under pressure midway through the second quarter right in front of a resting Stephen Curry on the bench, the shot sent the reigning MVP into a tunneldashing frenzy of delight.
“That’s a feat I put money on will probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” Curry said.
Previously this season, the highest scorers were Oklaho- ma City’s Russell Westbrook with 51 in an overtime game and Anthony Davis with 50 in regulation for the Pelicans.
“I felt every shot I took was a good shot,” Thompson said.
Kevin Durant added 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks for Golden State in another display of impressive passing.
The Warriors’ 15 first-quarter assists matched a franchise record done twice previously and they wound up with 45 total — two off the franchise record set on Nov 24 against the Lakers.
In one sensational thirdquarter play worthy of the highlight reel, Thompson had no part. Off a jump ball, Draymond Green hit Curry with a long heave and Curry made a leaping, one-touch pass to Durant for a dazzling alleyoop. Curry had 13 points and 11 assists.
Thompson scored 17 points in just under nine minutes to begin the game and Golden State had 15 assists on its initial 17 baskets and led 38-27 after the first quarter.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson lays up a shot during his 60-point performance against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.