SAN FRANCISCO – The night belonged to Klay Thompson, who scored 17 of his game-high 42 points in the first half. He guided the short-handed Golden State Warriors to a 116-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
“It was one of those nights I had the hot hand,” Thompson said. “It felt great, I can’t lie to you all.”
Thompson shot 12-for-19 from the floor, knocking down 12-for-17 from beyond the arc. It was Thompson’s third career game making 12-or-more three-pointers, passing teammate Stephen Curry for the most in NBA history per the Elias Sports Bureau.
He finished two three-pointers shy of tying his own record of 14 set on Oct. 29, 2018, at the Chicago Bulls. It was Thompson’s 18th career 40-point game in the regular season (fourth this season).
“He was brilliant tonight and it’s just so great to see him now at the point where he can do this,” said coach Steve Kerr, who challenged Thompson (Klay collected seven rebounds) to be a better rebounder. “I’m really happy for Klay, he’s put in the work. I really loved the fact he got seven rebounds.”
Thompson also shot 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. The rim looked like the Pacific Ocean to him this evening.
“I don’t like to talk about vintage me or am I my old self?” Thompson said. “I just think I’m being myself and I was capable of these things in the past and as long as my wrists still work, my feet work, I’ll forever be able to shoot the rock.”
The Warriors (30-30) got back to the .500-mark with the win after dropping the first game of a road-home back-to-back following a 124-111 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Donte Divincenzo and Jordan Poole tallied 15 points apiece. Poole drilled a three-pointer from 38-feet at the buzzer that capped off a 40-23 advantage for Golden State in the second quarter, giving the Warriors a comfortable 66-49 lead at halftime. Golden State went on a 18-5 run to start the second quarter.
The Warriors shot a blistering 51-percent (20-for-39) in the first half before finishing the game shooting 47-percent (37-for-78) from the floor.
Kevon Looney grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds, his fifth straight game with at least 10-plus rebounds. Golden State outrebounded the Rockets 47-44.
Draymond Green was listed as probable with a bruised right knee, but didn’t suit up for the defending NBA champions, who were already without starters in Curry and Andrew Wiggins. Curry has missed the past nine games with a leg injury sustained against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 4 in a collision with McKinley Wright IV. Wiggins missed his third straight game dealing with a family matter.
The Warriors have lost two straight and gone four of five but won their sixth of seven at home. Golden State improves to 23-7 at Chase Center this season.
The Warriors have now won nine straight against the Rockets, their longest winning streak ever against Houston. The Rockets haven’t beaten Golden State since a 135-105 victory on Feb. 20, 2020.
KJ Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds, TyTy Washington added 15 points while Jae’Sean Tate scored 14 points for the Rockets, who fell to an NBA-worst 13-46 after dropping their eighth straight game and fifth in a row on the road.
The Rockets are a dreadful 5-26 on the road and 7-32 against the Western Conference this season.
Houston shot 39-percent from the field (36-for-92) and 11-for-35 from three-point land. The Rockets forced 24 points off 19 turnovers by the Warriors and outscored Golden State 50-22 in the paint.
Both teams return to action Sunday, with the Warriors hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston finishing up their current five-game road in Portland.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter