Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson scored 30 points and notched eight three-pointers on Thursday night, as his team levelled the Western Conference semi-final series against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 127-100 win
Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson scored 30 points and notched eight three-pointers on Thursday night, as his team levelled the Western Conference semi-final series against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 127-100 win.
“I was just trying to get the crowd going,” Thompson said. “It’s always fun when you shoot the ball well, it’s even better when you couple that win a win.”
It was an effort that did not go unnoticed by head coach Steve Kerr. “Klay got it going and got our defence fuelling our offence,” he said.
The 33-year-old was not the only one who made a splash. Stephen Curry added 20 points and 12 assists, helping the Dubs rack up 21 three-pointers – an NBA record for most in the first two games of a playoff series.
It was a stat conceived of Kerr’s tactical tweaking.
He switched things up and inserted JaMychal Green into the starting line-up for Kevon Looney, who had a career-high 23 rebounds in Game 1 but has been dealing with an illness.
Kerr aimed to give a different look with scoring options and more free-throw chances by going hard with a physical presence against Anthony Davis in the paint – where Golden State got thoroughly outplayed in the opener.
The result was instantaneous. The Warriors produced more fast-break attacking moves, and the points started flowing. JaMychal Green matched his playoff career high with 15, while Draymond Green contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
“I’ve been waiting on this moment, just wanted to show that I could help,” Green said. “They always tell me to stay ready, my time will come.”
The Lakers’ LeBron James was quick to comment on those changes, saying “they made their adjustments. We knew they were going to do that, that’s what a championship team does. They held serve on their home court tonight.”
James shot six for eight in the first with a pair of 3s for 14 points as the Lakers led 33-26. He retrieved a loose ball and let it fly for a pretty 3 with 7:47 before halftime but the Warriors were too much.
Davis too, was unable to free himself from the opposition defence. He followed up his brilliant Game 1 performance – 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots and 11-for-19 shooting – with 11 points while shooting 5 for 11, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
The best-of-seven series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Saturday. Back home in Southern California, Thompson said he would play in the memory of “my biggest inspiration” Kobe Bryant and daughter, Gigi.