San Francisco – Klay Thompson caught the hot hand tonight. He scored 38 points in the Warriors 123-112 win over the Phoenix Suns. Klay Thompson scored a game-high 38 points with 33 coming in the first half (the most any Warrior has scored in a half this season). It was Thompson’s 10th 30-point game of the season.
Thompson made eight 3-pointers, the seventh time this season he has made that many (Warriors 6-2 in those games). Thompson has scored 20-or-more points in nine of the last 11 games (averaging 25.8 points per game in that span). Golden State posted 43 points in the first quarter, marking the 16th time this season they have recorded a 40-point quarter.
The Warriors have earned a 12-3 record this season in games in which they have a 40-point quarter. The Warriors improved to 11-3 this season when three players score 20-or-more points (Klay Thompson, 38; Stephen Curry, 23; Jordan Poole, 20).
Prior to tonight’s win over the Suns, the Warriors had lost the last four regular season meetings, including the last two at home. Phoenix won the season-series 3-1. Golden State improved to 26-4 in games they hold their opponent to under 115 points and improved to 20-5 when shooting 50% or better from the field.
The Warriors got off to an amazing start off Thompson’s quick 18 points in the first period. Golden State amassed lead of 22 points in the first and ended the half up by 17 points. Phoenix clawed their was back by cutting the lead down to 3. They double teamed Thompson shutting him down the entire quarter.
But a collective team effort in the fourth kept the Warriors ahead throughout the game. Jordan Poole contributed 20 points off the bench, his 38th 20-point effort of the season. Kevon Looney tallied his 26th game of double-figure rebounding on the season, improving upon the career-high mark. Tonight marked his 180th consecutive regular season game, the NBA’s second-longest active streak (Mikal Bridges, 378).
“Much of it was in the first quarter,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “I mean their shot making in general in the first quarter put us in the hole. There were a few breakdowns because of their pace but I didn’t think it was a failing grade. We were just a step behind with some of the shots that Klay (Thompson) made in the first half. They were just typical Klay, and he was due for a game like that against us. So he just punished our bigs, if we were back a little bit he got the shot off, we contested, he just made it.
I thought the shot that he made right before halftime was indicative of the first half. Then after that we pretty much won the game from a scoring standpoint we just couldn’t – to start off like that in the first quarter put us in the hole. To your point it was transition but a lot of it was just their shot making.”
“It was a slow start they came out with high energy like we knew they would and you know once they get going with momentum like that it’s hard to fight back,” said Devin Booker. “I think we did a good job of weathering the storm you know just kept fighting all the way thru we gave ourselves a couple shots a couple of opportunities to you know to take the lead or get that close so you know it was a good fight.”
Kerr’s pregame press conference
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr pregame press conference:
ON IF THINKS GARY PAYTON II MIGHT PLAY SOMETIME THIS SEASON:
“Yeah, there’s definitely optimism. He’s doing well (right-adductor soreness). He’s been on the court. He’s going to ramp up his activity here in the next week and I don’t know when the next update is, but there’s definitely hope and optimism that he’ll be able to play at some point.”
ON THE STATUS OF LESTER QUINONES’ 10-DAY CONTRACT:
“Nothing will happen today. As far as I know, I don’t think anything will happen in time to affect tonight’s game, but I expect something will happen over the next couple of days, but that’s all being discussed as we speak.”
ON THE STATUS OF DRAYMOND GREEN:
“We just had our walk through and he didn’t say anything. He was fine (right-ankle sprain). So I think he’s ready to go.”
ON PLAYERS PLAYING THROUGH INJURIES AS THE PLAYOFFS APPROACH:
“That’s just part of it. Everybody’s dealing with bumps and bruises and stuff happens. That’s why we have a training staff and these guys are pros. They understand what it takes and they put the work in. Draymond has been in the league now for a long time, I think about 12 years maybe so, he understands his body. He knows what to do to get ready.”
ON HAVING ANOTHER COMPLETE GAME LIKE THEY DID THE AGAINST THE BUCKS:
“That’s what we do in film sessions. We look at everything and we talk about the overall play and what we’re looking for. I thought that game just made sense. It connected at both ends. We weren’t perfect, but we competed the whole way and gave ourselves a chance and obviously, Steph (Stephen Curry) carried us home down the stretch, but what you want to see is competitive, smart defense throughout because this would give you a chance to stay in a game like that against a great team. We didn’t have that in the previous two games in Memphis and Oklahoma City. So we had to respond and we did and then we got to do it again tonight.”
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