At this point, playing Klay Thompson against the Sacramento Kings has to be considered a form of torture.
Thompson hit his first seven shots of the game, a couple coming on ridiculous looks, that brought back memories of his 37-point quarter to lead the Warriors (40-13) to a 126-114 victory Thursday.
He didn’t finish with nearly as gaudy of a statline as that game. But for a second, it looked like his record-setting quarter could be in some jeopardy, especially when he’s hitting fade away, sideways 3’s like they’re warm-up jumpers.
When asked what it is about the Kings, Thompson was quick to throw some shade their way with a laugh:
Hey man, 2011 NBA draft, with the 10th pick the Sacramento Kings don’t select me. People don’t forget, that’s all I got to say.”
Thompson had 20 points before halftime, but ended with just 23, mainly because he only played 24 minutes as the Warriors pulled away from the Kings (19-35) early in the fourth quarter.
Thompson did make sure to put an exclamation point on the game thoug,h as he was involved in the two loudest plays of the game on back-to-back possessions.
First, an outlet for a Jonathan Kuminga reverse dunk.
Then on the next play, Thompson decided to take it himself and drain a pull up 3 on a 1-on-2 fast break.
After the game Thompson said it’s all about just making the right plays, especially when he’s drawing so much attention:
I know teams are going to jump at me, especially when I have a half like I did. For me it’s easy, just hit the open man and it’s like a domino effect… People fall in love with the shooting, but I can pass too.”
And all those extra passes led Thompson to fill up the stat sheet with five rebounds, and he tied his career-high with seven assists.
Steve Kerr said Thompson’s game was impressive and not just because of the shooting:
He was fantastic tonight, and it wasn’t just the shooting, he had seven assists…I think he’s always had it in him, he’s just such a good shooter that generally speaking if he’s open he’s going to shoot it. I also think the floor is more open.”
Thompson did so much on the court that Stephen Curry only had to shoot twice in the first half. The other Splash Brother would still put up 20 points of his own, but it wasn’t nearly as loud as his backcourt mate.
Usually Andrew Wiggins would be the third scorer in this trio, but Thursday night it was Kuminga, who for the second game in a row, filled up the scoring column.
He followed up his 19-point night with another 18 on 8-of-10 from the field.
The rookie is starting to figure out the offense and once he gets a basket to drop he starts to attack relentlessly and pile up the points.
You can see it not just in his scoring production but the way he’s setting pin down screens for Curry and Thompson on broken plays.
If you remember it took the Warriors newbies the entire season before they were able to recognize the pin down action last season, so to see Kuminga pick it up this early is encouraging.
He still has his moments where he looks lost on both sides of the ball, but the positive plays are starting to outweigh the negatives before the All-Star break, which has to be a scary thought for opposing teams.
The Warriors now have an unprecedented three full days off before they travel to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (16-34) Monday.
Draymond Green was named as an All-Star reserve before the game Thursday. It’s the fourth All-Star selection for Green, but he’s already said he won’t be participating because of the back injury he’s been rehabbing. Before the game he said that he hopes to be back on the court in three-four weeks. … Moses Moody got another start Thursday, his third start in a row. He struggled to match the production of his 20-point performance Tuesday, but did manage to hit two more 3’s.