NBA

Thompson felt 'moments of euphoria' as he led Warriors to big Lakers win

By Sports Desk May 05, 2023

Klay Thompson felt "moments of euphoria" as his impressive performance led the Golden State Warriors to a 127-100 win over the Lakers in the NBA playoffs.

Golden State levelled their second-round series at 1-1 on Thursday, as Thompson thrived by scoring 30 points in a display that included eight 3-pointers.

The hot-shooting Warriors bounced back from Tuesday’s close Game 1 loss to recapture the momentum ahead of Game 3 in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Golden State shot over 50 percent overall and set an NBA record for the most 3-pointers in the first two games of a playoff series with 42.

And Thompson now has 12 playoff games where he has made at least seven 3-pointers, giving him an NBA record.

"These are moments you work for," Thompson said after the game, per NBC Sports.

"You might not see them all the time when you're in the gym, when you're conditioning, running a thousand miles.

"Those short moments of euphoria and that flow state where you just feel like you can't miss, make all those hard days more than worth it. 

"I was just trying to get the crowd going, and it's always fun when you shoot the ball well. But it's even better when you couple that with a win."

Thompson was visibly animated in the closing stages of the game, often shouting and jumping in delight as he converted shot after shot.

He was 8-of-11 from 3-point range and 11-of-18 shooting, with 14 of his points coming in a third quarter that the Warriors dominated 43-24 to end any hopes of a Lakers comeback.

"Sometimes when you are out there and you're having fun, things just come about without intention or thought," explained Thompson. 

"I think I was saying something along the lines of probably a few cuss words I'm not proud of. But those are the moments I feel the best as an athlete - when you feel like you're just clicking with your game, it’s just effortless."

Thompson had 25 points in Game 1, but shot only 9-of-25 in the opener.

"I relaxed a little bit more," Thompson said about his improvement in Game 2.

"I was not happy with my Game 1 performance. Shot the ball very inefficiently and probably rushed some shots. So I just let it come to me. I was telling myself to stay patient and it paid dividends."

Draymond Green came up just short of a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He relished seeing his fellow four-time NBA champion Thompson thrive.

"I just knew he was locked in," said Green. "He was really p****d off with our [Game 1] performance and he was dialled in coming in.

"When he's getting great looks like that, we know he's one of the best shooters to ever play this game."

Stephen Curry had 20 points and 12 assists, while JaMychal Green added 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting in his first playoff start since 2019.

Related items

  • Wizards hire interim head coach Keefe on full-time basis Wizards hire interim head coach Keefe on full-time basis

    The Washington Wizards gave interim head coach Brian Keefe the permanent job on Wednesday.

    “We are excited for Brian to become our next head coach. Brian is a proven motivator and connector of people,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said.

    “As a leader in the organisation, he will continue to positively grow and invest into the development of our players.

    “His wealth of experience will help move our team forward as we build for long-term sustained success.”

    Keefe was promoted to head coach on January 25 after Wes Unseld Jr. left the sidelines and moved into a front office advisory role.

    Washington was 7-36 at the time and went 8-31 under Keefe to finish with the second-worst record in the NBA at 15-67.

    The Wizards own the No. 2 overall selection in June’s NBA Draft.

  • Los Angeles Clippers extend head coach Lue Los Angeles Clippers extend head coach Lue

    Tyronn Lue is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers after agreeing to a new long-term contract, the team announced Wednesday. 

    Terms of the agreement are not yet known, though ESPN reports Lue's new deal will make him among the NBA's highest-paid coaches.

    Lue, who has compiled a 184-134 record in four seasons with the Clippers, was rumoured to be a candidate for the head coaching vacancy of Los Angeles' other franchise, the Lakers. That speculated scenario would have reunited the 47-year-old with LeBron James, whom Lue previously coached during a successful run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The Cavaliers' lone NBA championship came during the 2015-16 season, when Lue replaced David Blatt at mid-season and guided a team anchored by James and Kyrie Irving past the Golden State Warriors in seven games in a memorable NBA Finals.

    Lue also found immediate success after replacing Doc Rivers with the Clippers prior to the 2020-21 season, as the team reached the Western Conference finals before bowing out to the Phoenix Suns in six games.

    The Clippers have not won a play-off series in Lue's subsequent three seasons, though they finished fourth in the West with a 51-31 record in 2023-24. The Clippers were defeated in six games in the opening round by the Dallas Mavericks, who later advanced to the conference finals and currently own a 3-1 lead on the Minnesota Timberwolves in that series.

    Lue is 312-217 during the regular season and 54-37 in play-off games over eight overall seasons as a head coach. The former NBA point guard also helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, when they lost to the Warriors both times.

    Cleveland fired Lue following an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season, the team's first after James left the Cavaliers for a second time to sign with the Lakers.

    With Lue now under contract, the Clippers can now turn their attention towards attempting to keep their star core of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and James Harden together. Harden is a free agent this offseason and George could become one by declining his $48.8 million player option, which he's widely expected to do. 

  • Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive

    Anthony Edwards credited Karl-Anthony Towns after he halted his slump to keep the Minnesota Timberwolves alive in their Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks.

    Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half as Minnesota held off a late Dallas rally for a 105-100 road win, forcing a Game 5 in Minneapolis on Thursday.

    That came after a difficult start to the series for the four-time All-Star, with coach Chris Finch saying it was "hard to watch" his struggles in Game 3.

    Towns shot just 27.8 per cent in the series' first three games, but was 9 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range on Tuesday.

    Edwards, who narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, said Towns was the primary reason the Timberwolves retained hope of an NBA Finals berth. 

    "Everything came together for him; he was super confident," Edwards said of Towns. 

    "He played exceptionally well, and he came through big-time. He was the reason we won tonight."

    Finch echoed Edwards' praise, saying: "KAT's a great player. His struggles were not going to last forever. He got himself going. 

    "Even when he got deep in foul trouble, we left him out there, just let him roll, and he played smart, played under control, rebounded really well for us, executed defensively. We're really proud of him. Tonight was a great step for him."

    While it was Towns' efforts that gave Minnesota a lead to defend, it was Edwards who made certain of the victory with a mid-range jumper after the Mavs pulled within three points just over a minute before the buzzer. 

    Towns, who fouled out with one minute and 38 seconds on the clock, said of his team-mate's game-sealing shot: "I was on the bench and had a front-row seat. I feel like he was visualising that make and he got to exactly the spot he wanted to.

    "I'm honoured to be playing with my brother here, seeing him every day put the work in, and I knew when he got to that shot it was a high likelihood he was going to make that."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.