Rob Issa, FISM News
Thursday night, Klay Thompson put on a show with one 3-pointer after another to help the Golden State Warriors get even with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thompson scored 30 points, including eight 3-pointers, Stephen Curry added 20, and the Warriors routed the Lakers 127-100 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 23 and Anthony Davis was held to 11 after dominating the series opener.
“They made their adjustments. We knew they were going to do that, that’s what a championship team does,” James said. “They held serve on their home court.”
Thompson, whose dad Mychal played for the Lakers at the end of a lengthy NBA career, led the Warriors early while Curry took a while to get going offensively in the first half.
“It’s such an incredible experience to play in front of my friends and family. I would go to Staples as a high school basketball player with my pops, just dreaming of playing on that floor, playing against the best in the world,” Thompson said. “Now to be here and be a part of it, I don’t lose sight of that prescriptive of how great this opportunity is. I’m just excited to do it in a building where all my hoop dreams came about.”
Thompson grew up a huge fan of Kobe Bryant. He’s looking forward to playing in Los Angeles on the same court as the former Lakers legend who tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2020.
“I’m a huge Kobe fan; obviously, he was my biggest inspiration. I’m just gonna play my hardest to honestly honor him and Gigi because, without his play and all those years of me viewing his tenacity on the court, I would not be the athlete I am today,” Thompson said.
After losing the opener, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made some adjustments. He started JaMychal Green at center instead of Kevon Looney, who is battling an illness.
Green responded with 15 points while Looney, who had a career-high 23 rebounds in Game 1, had six with eight boards.
“I’ve been waiting on this moment, just wanted to show that I could help,” Green said. “They always tell me to stay ready, my time will come.”
The Lakers jumped out to a 33-26 lead after one quarter with James scoring a quick 14 points; but the Warriors were unstoppable in the second and third quarters.
“We played with more force,” Draymond Green said.
The Warriors scored 41 in the second and 43 in the third, notching two 40-point quarters in the same playoff game for the first time in franchise history.
“It was hard for us to guard four shooters,” Lakers forward Rui Hachimura said. “Defensively they were more aggressive I feel like. They had all the loose balls and the rebounds and everything.”
Curry drew from the advice his aunt gave him to help figure out how to solve the double-teaming the Lakers threw at him early in the game. Instead of trying to score, he played more like a traditional point guard and ran the offense, facilitating open shots for Thompson and his teammates.
“My aunt, she says to me some amazing stuff from game to game,” Curry said. “And she talks about just, you’re always trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube every game. And it starts in a different place every time, so you’re just trying to figure it out, and that’s the beauty of basketball.”
Green and Andrew Wiggins each scored 11 as six players for Golden State recorded double-digits.
The series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Saturday. Thompson said he may take a dip in the Pacific Ocean when he goes back home. The Lakers can only hope that’ll cool off his hot shooting.
“I’d love to go jump in,” Thompson said. “There’s just something about the Pacific Ocean and body surfing that resets your whole mental and spiritual being. I’m a true believer in the powers of the ocean and all her healing properties.”