Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors may have handed the Los Angeles Lakers a stinging defeat, only to get burned by the other Los Angeles team.
Thompson is unpredictable and so are his explosive performances. But when it does show, it’s a battering ram that is absolutely relentless. The Lakers will agree.
Such was the impact of the clutch show, that it overshadowed LeBron James’ mammoth scoring milestone where he passed the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 44,149 total points to become the league’s all-time leading scorer in a combined regular and postseason points.
The Klay Thompson special got underway with 9:51 minutes left in the fourth quarter and it was Austin Reaves who got the comeback man all dialed in. The remainder of the game saw him stack up 16 points and nailing buckets with clinical precision (he had 33 in total).
Klay Thompson has been effective not only as an offensive powerhouse but also as a playmaker for the Golden State Warriors.
It was a forgettable day against the Clippers, especially after his masterclass earlier. The 104-119 loss is just one of the games that have made Golden State’s recent run relatively sine wave-like. Clearly, the defense has been an issue. The misses and the clunkers didn’t help.
On his part, Thompson, as harsh as it may seem, deserves a B for his game. He didn’t play the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter and took one shot only for it to clatter.
26.41 minutes, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3-for-14 shooting, and 1-for-5 threes were his numbers, and as dismal as they were, there is a silver lining — He’s moving and he’s healthy. He’s inches away from being the Thompson of the old, and that matters.
His ability to change the course of a quarter makes him a dangerous customer to deal with. Now that he’s cleared to play 30 minutes per game, the role he plays in those non-Curry minutes, especially in the fourth stretch, makes a lot of difference for the side.
One of the plays that made a difference against the Lakers was when he drilled a deflected pass. It was a classic example of his agility and game awareness that meant if there was a game that needed to be turned around, he would be the one to do for them.
The defense is an issue now. Without Green, there’s only so much that even Kevon Looney or Jonathan Kuminga can do. They’re 2-3 from their last five games, but when they’re at full strength, there’s more freedom for Thompson to express himself.
And when he does, especially in the postseason, the Warriors will greatly benefit from what he brings to the table.