Klay Thompson of Warriors drops 60 in 29 minutes of playing time
With the game out of hand for the Warriors, Thompson took a seat in 4th quarter
Klay Thompson wanted one more quarter. He wanted to score 80, and thinks he absolutely could have.
Hard to argue that one: He went off for 60 points in 29 head-shaking, jaw-dropping, defense-breaking minutes.
"Who knows? I know he would have kept shooting," coach Steve Kerr said. "Klay's never going to stop shooting."
Thompson had an NBA season-high and career-best performance for the highest-scoring output by a Golden State player in more than 42 years, and the Warriors whipped the Indiana Pacers 142-106 on Monday night. At one point, Pacers coach Nate McMillan looked downright speechless during a quiet timeout on his bench.
Thompson raised his arms to encourage more of those steady "KLAY! KLAY! KLAY!" chants then let it fly again and again. He had 60 through three and called it a night, sitting down with 1:22 left in the period as fans jumped to their feet for an extended standing ovation.
"It's just unfortunate two times I got my career high I didn't get to play the fourth quarter," Thompson said.
Per <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports">@EliasSports</a>, Klay Thompson is the first player in the Shot Clock Era to score 60 points in a game with fewer than 30 minutes played.—@WarriorsPR
He scored 40 by halftime in just 18-plus minutes. Nearly two years ago, Thompson had a 37-point quarter on the way to 52 points against Sacramento.
Thompson joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors to score 60 points. Barry was the last to do so, going off for 64 on March 26, 1974, against Portland.
Now, Thompson hopes he gets a chance to go for more.
"Maybe. I think I could have, maybe one day I'll have the opportunity," he said, "But 60 in 29 minutes is not too bad."
Admiration from sharpshooter Curry
Thompson shot 21-for-33 and 8-of-14 on 3-pointers — 15 of 22 with five 3s in the first two quarters — and converted all but one of 11 free throws in 29 minutes. When he knocked down a baseline 3 midway through the second quarter right in front of a resting Stephen Curry on the bench, the shot sent the MVP into a tunnel-dashing frenzy of delight.
"That's a feat that I put money on will probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball," Curry said.
Previously this season the highest scorers were Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook with 51 in an overtime game and Anthony Davis with 50 in regulation for the Pelicans.
Kevin Durant added 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks for Golden State in another display of impressive passing. The Warriors' 15 first-quarter assists matched a franchise record done twice previously and they wound up with 45 total — two off the franchise record they set Nov. 24 against the Lakers.
In one sensational third-quarter play worthy of the highlight reel, Thompson had no part: Off a jump ball, Draymond Green hit Curry with a long heave and Curry made a leaping, one-touch pass to Durant for the dazzling alley-oop. Curry had 13 points and 11 assists.
Thompson scored 17 points in just under nine minutes to begin the game and Golden State had 15 assists on its initial 17 baskets and led 38-27 after the first.
Golden State beat the healthy Pacers this time. The Warriors won in Indiana 120-83 on the second night of a back-to-back for the Pacers on Nov. 21 when they were missing Paul George, Myles Turner and C.J. Miles.
This time the Pacers again played on consecutive nights but at full strength following a comeback win at the Clippers for just their second road victory.
George had 21 points and 10 rebounds a night after playing nearly 34 minutes and much of that with tissue in his bloody nose.
'Apples and oranges' comparison
Al Attles, a Warriors ambassador, played in the March 2, 1962 game in which Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points, scoring 17 points of his own that night. Attles also coached Barry the day he scored 64 in 1974.
"I've seen a 100-point game," Attles said from his seat during a late timeout. "Rick was such a great player and he cared about winning. In order to score the number of points he scored you have to have help from your teammates. I try to look at them individually because once you start comparing, someone is always going to be No. 2. Let's give him his credit."
While Attles — who recently celebrated his 80th birthday at Oracle — was close with Chamberlain, when people ask about the 100-point performance, he still keeps it separate from other sensational showings like the onslaught by Thompson.
"It's like apples and oranges," he said. "They're both good fruit. It's a matter of what you like. I was very close to Wilt, but you have to enjoy what they did that night. I enjoy any great performance. I'm very happy to be here tonight."