Thompson soars to lift Warriors over Pacers
ORACLE ARENA — After three consecutive blowout victories, the Warriors seemed due for a grind it out game, and that’s exactly what it looked like for the first three quarters.
But a fourth quarter surge by Golden State behind Klay Thompson‘s 40 points — 27 in the second half — allowed the Warriors to pull ahead and notch their 28th victory of the season, 117-102 over the Pacers.
After recording his second 40-point game of the season, Thompson said the movement of his teammates helped him to get open and that he tried not to think about how many shots were falling:
“When it happens I don’t even think about it. I just get good looks and when I see a few go in I’m gonna try to get another easy one. I got lucky tonight, I was moving without the ball well and that’s why I got so many good looks.”
Expecting matchup problems, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he knew it was going to be a tough game and because of that, said it was one of the biggest wins of the season:
“We were tested big time. We had to figure a lot of things out as we went. I thought the players did a great job of doing things on their own and sorting through the game.”
The Warriors led by just three points in the final moments of the third quarter, but Thompson scored five quick points in the final moments to push the lead to eight.
Opening the final frame, Thompson went on a scoring rampage, knocking down 12 quick points. Marreese Speights added 10 points in the final minutes of the fourth capped by a one-handed slam en route to a 15-point victory over the Pacers.
In the opening quarter, Thompson’s fellow Splash Brother, Stephen Curry, made history of his own by hitting his 1000th three-pointer at the 6:22 mark becoming the fastest player in NBA history to hit the milestone.
Curry hit another deep trey in the final moments of the second quarter to tie the game 50-50 at halftime, finishing the night with a 21-point 15-assist double-double, but it was Thompson who came out of intermission with the hot hand.
Thompson wasted no time, sinking 10 points in the opening 2:30 of the second half, taking a 62-51 lead.
The Pacers managed to cut the Warriors double-digit lead to just one point later in the third quarter despite losing center Roy Hibbert in the first quarter to a left ankle sprain. But Thompson’s shots continued to land, pushing the Warriors ahead in the home stretch.
Thompson’s 40 points fell just one point shy of his career-high 41 points logged against the Lakers on Nov. 1.
Even though he was close, Thompson said he didn’t care about setting a new record once he learned how many points he had:
“I didn’t care man. I had zero assists so I was just happy to get a couple assists at the end. I’m sure I’ll break it in the future but it just felt good to play good.”
Wednesday’s game also saw the return of center Andrew Bogut after missing 12 consecutive games with a knee injury. Bogut finished with four points and eight rebounds in just under 15 minutes off the bench.
The Warriors, now 28-5, will finish their six-game home stand Friday against the 19-17 Cleveland Cavaliers sans LeBron James.
Golden State improved to 11-0 against the Eastern Conference on the season (6-0 at home) marking the teams best start against the East in franchise history. … Stephen Curry hit his 1000th career three-pointer but also dished out his 2,500th career assist, nothing his ninth double-double of the season. … Klay Thompson recorded his second 40-point game this season, scoring 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting. He hit a season-high six threes, marking his 12th consecutive game hitting multiple threes, the longest active streak in the NBA. Thompson’s 40 points were the most by a Pacers opponent this season. … David Lee led the second unit with 13 points, matching a season-high.