Sitting on the bench on Monday, DeMarcus Cousins saw Klay Thompson hit a couple of shots and thought he had 20-25 points. Cousins looked up, and saw that Thompson was in the 40s. After the game, he was told Thompson made an NBA-record 10 straight 3-pointers.
Cousins was astounded:
“It was 10 straight? Shit. That’s impressive. That’s the first it happened? There’s like a new record every day.”
Get used to it, Boogie.
Staples Center turned into the Klay show on Monday night in the Warriors’ 130-111 rout of the Lakers, their eighth-straight win and seventh-consecutive road victory.
Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make his first 10 3-point attempts in a game, seven of which came in the third quarter, where he erupted for 23 points. He finished with 44 points, the 13th 40-point game of his career, and fifth-career game with double-digit 3-pointers.
Thompson, in his classic emotionless manner, said:
“I’ve never hit 10 threes in a row in a game. That was hard.”
The third quarter was a show. The Warriors took a 65-55 lead into halftime before outscoring the Lakers by 20 in the third. Thompson could not miss, hitting from all angles, launching shots with the ball barely in his hands. His record-setting 10th 3-pointer featured a 360-degree pirouette after it went in, and he received an ovation from his hometown crowd when he exited the game. He made 17-of-20 field goal attempts and 10 of his 11 3-pointers.
Head coach Steve Kerr said:
“I don’t think the league has seen that. has anybody ever gone 17-for-20 and 10-for-11 from three? Not in that combination.”
“Just happened to be one of those nights. It’s hard to explain.”
If there was any apprehension that the Warriors introducing a fifth All-Star into an already-stacked lineup would ruin their chemistry, Monday’s rout of the Lakers served as a warning for the rest of the league, if they didn’t know already: teams will have to play near perfect to beat this squad.
Cousins’ second game with the Warriors looked more like a Harlem Globetrotters performance at certain points than an NBA game. Golden State toyed with the LeBron-less Lakers like they were the Washington Generals, swinging the ball around to give it to Thompson like it was an All-Star game — they literally have an All-Star lineup.
Kevin Durant said:
“We sold out to look for Klay, to be honest. When he’s knocking down shots like that, you’ve got to keep feeding him until he goes cold.”
Thompson appreciated the deference from his teammates:
“I feel like when I hit a few in a row they tried to give me the ball. That’s just how unselfish they are. You’ve got two of the best scorers in the world looking for you.”
The result? A 40-point lead after three quarters and a full 12 minutes of garbage time. They only needed 20 points from Durant and 11 points from Stephen Curry. Cousins had 8 points on 2-of-9 shooting and nine rebounds in 21 minutes of play.
That is the scariest part of the Warriors, how any of their stars can erupt on any given night. Thompson only needed 27 minutes to drop 44 points, and the game was decided well before the final buzzer.
What is even more remarkable is how normal these record-setting performances have become. In October, Thompson set the NBA record for most 3s in a game with 14 against the Bulls. For Durant, this was just another day.
“Anything Steph, Klay, Draymond, even [Cousins] do at this point, it’s expected to me. He has a big game, it’s like, ‘Alright, let’s move on to the next one. I’m sure he’ll have another big game.'”
The spectacular is now the norm, at least in Golden State. Good luck to the rest of the NBA.
In the midst of a five-game road trip, the Warriors will head to the nation’s capital to take on the Wizards on Thursday.
The Warriors are now 15-8 on the road this season, the best winning percentage in the NBA. … They have recorded 10 or fewer turnovers in each of the last five games, the longest such streak since the 1968-69 season. … The Warriors’ 45-point third quarter was their 12th 40-point quarter of the season. … Golden State recorded their eighth 30-plus assist game in its last 10 games, improving to 16-3 when reaching that mark.