What we learned when Klay drained 12 3-pointers in win against OKC Originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — When one Splash Brother falls, another must step forward. Klay Thompson had more than that Monday night in the Warriors’ 141-114 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thompson let the nets drop in front of his home fans, scoring 27 points in the first half. Nothing was forced and efficiency was showcased. The Flamethrower finished with 42 points on 15-of-22 and 12-of-16 shooting from downtown.
Furthermore, what started out as a one-man show ended up as a collective team effort. Jordan Poole did exactly what the Warriors needed from him in their first game since Steph Curry injured his lower left leg, shooting 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with a season-high 12 assists.
Andrew Wiggins was active all game, adding 18 points and was a plus-25 plus/minus.
All in all, this should be a game to remember for the Warriors, who are now 8-8 without Curry this season.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors improving to 28-26 on the season.
Klay catches fire
Thompson has put together a handful of strong first quarters this season. What he did on Monday night, though, was on a whole different level. As both teams traded buckets, Klay caught fire early on.
He scored 18 points in the first quarter alone, going 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from deep. And he was just getting started. Thompson scored nine more points in the second quarter, giving him 27 in the first half while shooting 10-of-14 overall and 7-of-9 with 3-pointers. This gave him the most points in the half since 2019.
Did a break in the first half slow him down? At all.
After halftime, Thompson led the third quarter with three straight.
Klay ended up playing a total of 33 minutes and scored 27 points in the first half and 15 in the second. His 12 3-pointers are the second most of his career and just two off his NBA-record 14 in a gem.
With Curry sidelined, the spotlight has shined brightest on Poole. She answered the call in important ways Monday night.
Scoring has never been a problem for the 23-year-old guard. Whenever Curry has lost matches, Poole has easily amassed 20+ points. In the 15 games Curry was out this season prior to the Warriors’ win against the Thunder, Poole averaged 27.7 points and 4.2 assists.
But also 4.9 turnovers.
His turnovers sometimes cost the Warriors wins. Not this time, though.
Poole didn’t turn the ball over until there were seven minutes left in the third quarter. At that point he already had nine assists. Before the end of the third quarter, he had already tied his career with 11 assists. He finished with a new record of 12 assists and four turnovers.
This was the blueprint of what Poole can do every night while Curry recovers.
A very happy birthday
Sometimes it seems like Kevon Looney was just as much a Warrior as Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green. The veterans center plays an old school game and acts like a wise old man. She also celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday, a number that seems too young.
Looney celebrated in style too, with his latest example of why he’s so important to the Warriors.
Steve Kerr said after the Warriors’ win Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks that Looney, who started and had 10 points and seven rebounds, would remain in the starting lineup. So much for that.
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Instead, Jonathan Kuminga was slotted into the Warriors’ fifth starter and Looney came off the bench. All Looney did was grab 11 rebounds off the bench to lead the Warriors and it was a plus-21.
He’s a winner in every sense of the word and played a big part in improving the Warriors to three games over .500 before they took off for Portland.
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