The Golden State Warriors won by a whopping 36 points against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, and one man had a lot to do with the destruction of the Pacers defense.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson erupted for 60 points on 21-33 shooting from the floor to lead the Warriors to their 18th win of the year. He also shot 8-for-14 from three-point range, and 10-for-11 at the charity stripe.
The most incredible thing about Thompson’s rare scoring night was that he only played 29 minutes in the game, and he didn’t play a single second in the 4th quarter. He departed from the game with 1:22 left in the third quarter.
“I felt like every shot I took was a good shot,” Thompson said, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “It’s the way I was playing off of my teammates, too. It’s easy to get open looks when you’re running off Zaza [Pachulia] and Draymond [Green] all night, and I think it started for me when I got a few layups in the beginning. That always opens up my game, and whenever I’m active off the ball, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Thompson thanked his teammates following after the game for setting him up for good shot attempts and success during the duration of the game:
(He really took only 11 dribbles and possessed the ball for a total of 90 seconds throughout the night, but who’s counting anyway?)
“I don’t even know what to say,” teammate Kevin Durant said. “It was crazy because he probably has the ball in his hand for probably not even two minutes in the whole game. He was catching, shooting, cutting.”
The 26-year-old Thompson is the first player in the shot-clock era to score 60 points with fewer than 30 minutes of playing time recorded on the night.
Longtime Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was the last NBA player to have 60 points more after three quarters prior to Thompson’s 60-point performance on Monday. Bryant had 62 through three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks in 2005 when he outscored the entire Mavericks team by himself.
“That was a pretty amazing performance,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “We know he’s capable of that. Everybody around here remembers his 37-point quarter, so it always feels like it’s a possibility [he can go off].”
Thompson’s 37-point quarter happened against the Sacramento Kings in a January 2015 game when he scored the significant mark in the 3rd quarter to post a then career-high 52 points.
Thompson is now averaging 22.5 points, 2.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game this season.
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