The Mavericks beat the Warriors once this season. Klay Thompson made sure it didn’t happen again.
Thompson exploded Wednesday precisely on target, hitting 5-of-10 three pointers and scoring 45 points to lead Golden State in exacting revenge over Dallas 127–107, as they beat one of just four teams to defeat their West-leading squad (42-4) in the 2015-16 campaign.
“It was just nice to see the ball go in. It felt like I was due for a night like that for the last few weeks.”
Added head coach Steve Kerr:
“You just always know he’s capable of this. When he hits his first couple, usually he’s going to get going, but what I was thrilled about tonight was his movement without the ball. He opened up the game. Cutting, going hard on screens, curling. I think all those lay-ups he got kind of gave him confidence on the jumper.”
It all happened in the Warriors’ 40th-straight home win, a feat last accomplished by the Chicago Bulls in 1996. And the fifth-straight game with 30 or more assists, the first team to do so since the Orlando Magic in 1995.
Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay
Thompson was the star of a very momentous evening, but he didn’t get the game ball, though, nor did he give a post game speech.
That honor went to rookie forward Kevon Looney, whom the Warriors selected with the 30th pick of the 2015 draft, and debuted Wednesday night.
Looney discussed one of the most memorable moments of what could be a long career playing basketball:
“I didn’t expect to have a play drawn up for me on my first bucket, I thought it was a drop off or something. But Luke looked out for me, coach looked out for me, so I took advantage of it.”
Looney’s journey to the NBA may have been de-railed by injury, but his day has come. Looney debuted in the Warriors triumph, despite receiving a rough introduction to the league by Chandler Parsons, who took him to the rim and got the and-one to boot.
On the very next possession, Jeremy Evans took Looney to the paint for two more. That was essentially it on the night for Looney, playing just under six minutes and scoring off the dribble.
“We told him this morning to be ready with Festus out that we were going to activate him and for him to be ready to play a little bit. It was good to see him out there.”
Looney could be a crucial addition to the Warriors roster during their all-but-certain run through the playoffs, though Kerr said he’ll need to continue to condition his body and elevate his game after an extended layoff.
After averaging 11 points and almost 10 rebounds a game over 30 minutes for UCLA, the 19-year-old has plenty of time to blossom.
And for the game ball, Looney says he already knows where it will go:
“I’ll probably give it to my dad and mom. They always like to frame stuff like when I do good, so they’ll probably frame it.”
The Warriors decimated Dallas (26-22), who played without key starter Dirk Nowitzki, and made it look easy at times.
Klay Thompson exploded, hitting 5-of-10 three pointers with four rebounds and one assist. Draymond Green had a quiet night, shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the arc, 4-of-4 from the field and collecting four assists and one rebound while recording 10 points.
Beyond Thompson’s lights-out shooting, Golden State’s scoring was well-balanced, with every player on the roster scoring four or more, save for Looney and Ian Clark.
And Golden State limited the turnovers well, something Kerr noted after the game:
“The good thing, though, was that was that we played a clean game. We only turned it over nine times. Our defensive intensity was nowhere to be found, but in a game like this, where the other team is shorthanded, and maybe you don’t have all your energy, you have to take care of the ball and be smart. I thought we did a good job of that.”
It was a good night for that, especially since the key members of the squad — Curry, Thompson and Green — have been playing big minutes for most of the season and could use a little rest.
The Splash Brothers played a tick more than 30 minutes each, Curry averaging 34 minutes per game this season and Thompson hanging around 33 minutes.
Golden State hits the road for three games against sub-.500 Eastern Conference competition in the New York Knicks (22-25), Philadelphia 76ers (7-40) and Washington Wizards (20-23), before returning home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-13).