May 8, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) takes a shot over San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half in game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT
Klay Thompson’s career high 34 was more than a great performance, it was simply scintillating. The Golden State Warriors needed it in the worst way, not just “a” performance like that, but a performance from Klay, like that.
Thompson is the key to the entire team’s chemistry, the glue that holds together the explosiveness of Steph Curry and the supplement of Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bogut and the rest of them. He gives the Warriors offense, defense, rebounding and soul.
Speaking of defense and rebounding, his defense last night in the second half was superb and more than made up for his less than awesome 5 points he scored in the final 2 frames. Still, he hit a huge buzzer-beating three (his eighth of the night) to end the third and pulled down 14 big boards all along.
Thompson just hasn’t been himself lately, but this should put him back on track and changes everything in the series. The Spurs had come out doubling Steph near half-court, but there isn’t as much opportunity for that if Golden State gets a pass out of it, because it becomes 4-on-3 and Klay has the chance to spot up. That Spurs gameplan was employed time and time again last night and was repeatedly destroyed by Thompson, which also led to several 1-on-1 takes for Curry late in the game. Curry went on to ice the game with a pull-up bucket and a sweet scoop.
We’ll see how each team comes out and attacks in Game 3, but it’s safe to say that Thompson has GS in a much better spot than SA in this series. That’s especially true when realizing that the Warriors now have home court advantage, just where they like to drive from.