If anyone knows what it’s like to shoot white-hot in an NBA game, it’s Klay Thompson.
Just two seasons ago, Thompson set an NBA record for points scored in a single quarter, racking up 37 in a 12-minute span against the Sacramento Kings Jan. 23, 2015.
At times this season as well, the younger “Splash Brother” has been in a groove like none other. Last December, Thompson scored 60 points against Indiana in only three quarters of play.
But for all of the success Thompson has seen in the past few years, he has rarely found himself on the other side of an offensive barrage from a single player.
In Golden State’s first playoff game of the 2016-17 season, Thompson and the rest of the Warriors got a taste of another guard who can light it up, C.J. McCollum, put up 27 of his game high 41 points by halftime.
When asked what it was like to have to guard a someone who’s in that kind of a rhythm, Thompson said:
“It’s not very fun but it’s a challenge and you don’t get deflated. It’s a 48 minute game and just gotta trust in your teammates behind you and realize that it’s not about outscoring somebody. It’s about winning the game. So you can’t get caught up within the individual battle.”
McCollum, who shot 11-for-15 from the floor in the first 24 minutes of play, seemed to have the Warriors’ number. And the Trail Blazers would need every point, and more.
Besides McCollum’s backcourt teammate and Oakland native Damian Lillard, who pitched in with a modest 34 points for the night, Portland received very little help from the remaining Trail Blazers that suited up Sunday.
Besides McCollum and Lillard, who combined for 75 points in the game, the remaining Trail Blazers were only able to add 34 points and shot an abysmal 12-of-39 from the field.
Regarding what Thompson expects to transpire in Game 2, he said:
“I mean, if (Lillard and McCollum) go for 75 and lose again, we’ll take that result. Obviously we don’t want them to go for 75 because it kept them in the game for, you know, 40 minutes, or 42 minutes. So try to make it tougher on them but give them credit. They hit some really incredible shots. So just continue to throw different guys and looks at them and hopefully it’s a different result.”
The Warriors take on the McCollum and Lillard-led Trail Blazers tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Oracle Arena before the series shifts to Portland for Games 3 and 4.