- Ben Margot/AP
Klay Thompson scored a career-high 60 points on 21-33 shooting on Monday night as the Golden State Warriors walloped the Indiana Pacers, 142-106.
In doing so, Thompson not only set an NBA season high in points scored, he also topped the career-highs of teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, two of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA.
And Thompson’s teammates believe Thompson could have had more.
Durant said after the game (via the Indianapolis Star), “He should have had 80, to be honest. He took 14 3’s and all six he missed were probably open. He missed a free throw and he got his layup blocked a couple times. We talked about it on the bench. He said he should have had 70, but I said, ‘Man, you could’ve had 80-plus.'”
This is one of the wildest parts of Thompson’s huge night. He could have had 70 or more points (Kobe Bryant and David Robinson are the only two players to score 70 or more points in a game in the last 32 seasons), and the Warriors still scored 142 points, the second time they’ve hit 140 in a game this season. Furthermore, they hit this mark with only 33 combined points from Durant and Curry, while no player (Thompson included) played over 30 minutes.
Durant’s comment also highlights how potent the Warriors offense is. The Warriors were clearly trying to get Thompson the ball throughout the game. Pacers forward Paul George noted this after the game, saying, “It just became a point where they were just looking for one guy. … They were all looking just to get him looks and get him open.” Yet Thompson was still able to get open looks, even with the defense aware of who the ball was going to. Here’s a look at some of his missed threes.
- Via NBA.com/Stats
- Via NBA.com/Stats
Also, amazingly, Thompson barely had the ball in his hands Tuesday night.
According to SportVU tracking data, @KlayThompson had the ball in his hands for a total of 88.4 seconds last night.
To score 60 points.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) December 6, 2016
Thompson is not a dribble-heavy player the way Curry or Durant is; much of his offense comes from spot-ups, curl plays, and cuts. All Thompson had to do was get open and be ready to shoot, not create a shot for himself off the dribble.
Here’s what we can garner from the Warriors offense:
- Klay Thompson can score 60 points in 29 minutes. The Warriors can score 142 points on a night where their top two scorers combine for 33 points. They can score 142 points without any player playing more than 30 minutes. They can get a red-hot player open looks, even when the entire defense knows the ball is going to him.
The Warriors lead the league in offensive rating, scoring 115 points per 100 possessions, and now own the best record in the NBA at 18-3. Their transition period has gone even smoother than expected, and that alone should frighten the rest of the NBA.