Steph Curry, Klay Thompson offer reminder who’s still NBA’s greatest show

These aren’t the identical Houston Rockets that Warriors followers have been used to seeing time and time once more within the NBA playoffs. No longer is there a rivalry between the 2 Western Conference opponents. The elder of those Rockets, nevertheless, has seen all of it between Houston and Golden State.

Eric Gordon must be sick of the Warriors by now, particularly Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors’ newest model of torture for the Rockets’ veteran guard got here Sunday evening within the Warriors’ 127-120 win at Toyota Center.

With below a minute to go and the Warriors up by 4 factors, Gordon guarded Curry tightly as might be. As Gordon has seen so many instances earlier than, generally there merely are no solutions to stopping Steph. With the shot clock winding down, Curry hopped behind the 3-point line and threw up a 3 that regarded prefer it was about to kiss the ceiling.

Instead, it got here splashing down by way of the online. Game over, Curry says evening evening. Look on the Rockets’ bench. They all became Steph stans.

“That rainbow was simply what he does, and it is cool to listen to the group react the best way that they did,” Thompson stated to reporters after the win. “Everyone comes for a show when the Warriors are on the town, and I believe he form of solidified that showmanship with that shot. I used to be even like, ‘Wow, that is unimaginable!'”

Even Curry was stunned by himself. The celebration was equally enjoyable within the second, and making enjoyable of him and his teammates a bit.

“Nah, that was simply because I stunned myself with that shot,” Curry stated about his signature celebration. “More so with the celebration, the clock was happening — we have been working out the clock, me and Draymond put our palms above our heads like we actually received one thing. Just form of making enjoyable of our gradual begin out on the highway, but it surely was a very good win.

“… I wish to have enjoyable, too.”

What was even sweeter for Curry and the remainder of the Warriors was the truth that the evening did not belong to him. He was spectacular as soon as once more, little doubt there. For solely the third time this season, Curry wasn’t the Warriors’ main scorer. For the primary time, the glory belonged to Thompson.

This was a classic Clay Day. The Splash Brother was feeling it after main the Warriors to their first highway win of the season after opening 0-8.

Too usually, the joyous sharpshooter who’s happiest on a basketball court docket, or out on the ocean, has traded his smile for frustrations this season. He got here into the evening averaging solely 15.5 factors whereas capturing a low 36.3 p.c from the sector and 33.6 p.c on 3-pointers. He has grappled with the truth that he is not the identical participant who went to 4 straight All-Star Games earlier than lacking two-and-a-half seasons to a torn ACL and torn Achilles. But the four-time NBA champion is aware of he is able to far more.

No matter how a lot Klay has wished to clear the noise throughout his early-season points, he has had bother turning down the quantity. He has heard the naysayers. He has seen the tweets.

In a second of vulnerability, Thompson admitted Sunday that he let all of it get to him. And he additionally made it clear that is not going to occur.

“No, I do not care anymore,” he stated. “I actually let the trolls get to me. Like, what am I doing, ya know. I simply had a revelation the place I used to be like, ‘Man, simply be you and every thing will play out.’

“Criticize me all you need, however I still know the way nice I’m and what I’m able to. I believe actual Warriors followers know that as properly.”

On the identical ground the place Thompson made a complete lot of Texas enemies up to now, he despatched everybody watching a stern message: I’m still Klay Thompson. Doubt me at your individual threat. Watch what occurs should you do.

Well, what occurred for the Rockets was watching Thompson rating a season-high 41 factors, going 14-for-23 from the sector and 10-for-13 from lengthy distance. Sunday evening was the primary time he scored greater than 30 factors this yr and it was his first 40-plus efficiency. In one sport alone, Thompson raised his field-goal share virtually three factors, all the best way to 39 p.c. Plus, his 3-point share moved up by greater than 4 factors to 37.7 p.c.

Thompson’s 41 factors tied probably the most he has scored since his two leg accidents, and his 10 3-pointers are his most since scoring 44 factors towards the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 21, 2019.

The remaining triple that hit residence was his pre-dagger to Curry placing the nail within the coffin.

It did not take lengthy for Thompson to do injury to Houston’s protection. How quick? He scored 20 factors within the first quarter, the eleventh time he has scored 20 or extra factors in 1 / 4 and fifth within the first.

Although this was solely the third time Thompson has scored at the least 20 factors in a sport this season, it was his second sport in a row hitting that mark. He dropped 20 two nights in the past within the Warriors’ win over the New York Knicks and went 8-for-16 from the sector for his first 50-percent capturing sport of the yr.

Led by Draymond Green, the Warriors held a crew assembly the morning of the win towards the Knicks and reaped the rewards. Draymond was as trustworthy as potential to Thompson in that assembly, understanding it could be the most effective factor for his brother and the remainder of the crew. Now, Green is seeing the participant who has been so nice for thus lengthy.

“He’s being Klay Thompson,” Green stated. “He shouldn’t be nervous about what occurs with Klay, he is nervous about what occurs with this crew. When Klay worries about what occurs with this crew, Klay performs nice and we win.

“I’ve all the time stated he is probably the most aggressive man that I’ve ever performed with. And a very powerful factor to him has all the time been profitable. At instances, all of us get away from who we’re. In a brotherhood, you want anyone to deliver you again to who you’re. I’ve little doubt in my thoughts if it was me, he’d do the identical factor.”

Out the gates the final two video games, Thompson’s counterpart has made it a mission to get him going early. Curry assisted on the Warriors’ first 5 made pictures within the final win. This time, he completed the primary quarter — the identical the place Thompson put up a 20-spot — with seven assists. That’s one help shy of his profession excessive for 1 / 4.

Behind Thompson’s 20 factors, the Warriors scored 40 within the first quarter. None have been subsequent to Curry’s identify. He then scored eight within the second quarter, and with the Warriors trailing at halftime, he gave Golden State 16 factors within the third quarter. Curry and Thompson every scored 9 factors within the fourth, giving Curry 33 factors and 15 assists on the evening.

Finding the proper mix of facilitator and game-changing scorer, Curry had his second straight sport with at the least 20 factors and 10 assists, sixth profession sport with 30 factors and 15 assists and eleventh sport this season scoring at the least 30 factors. He crushed any final hopes Houston had, and he delighted extra in speaking about Thompson’s evening greater than the rest, with the 2 combining to attain 74 factors — the seventeenth time they’ve scored 70 or extra factors collectively.

“It’s all related,” Curry stated. “How he began carried all through the sport as a result of he acquired his confidence going. The ball was shifting everywhere in the court docket, discovering the best man.”

Much of the Warriors’ season to this point has been Curry’s teammates marveling at his mastery each sport. Klay was glad to assist this time.

“Steph has been going all season lengthy, so it felt good to assist him a bit of bit,” Thompson stated. “It simply felt good to have a giant sport. I’m my harshest critic. The first 10 video games of the season weren’t simple for me.

“To come out and be myself once more, it felt unimaginable. It’s simply one thing for me to construct on and to maintain going.”

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Muting his critics and trolls being again to non-existent, Thompson gave himself and all people else a reminder in Houston. Watching Steph and Klay go to work, although, has all the time been extra particular than any particular person spectacle. It’s one thing that may’t be duplicated.

With a decade of creating magic collectively, the Splash Brothers are still the greatest show within the NBA.

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