The Golden State Warriors let Game 1 slip away from them on Tuesday night.
Klay Thompson assured that it would not happen twice.
Thompson was down 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead the Warriors past the Los Angeles Lakers 127-100 in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals series at Chase Center Thursday night. It was Thompson’s sixth career playoff game with at least eight 3-pointers, the most in NBA history.
“We realize we left one in Game 1, and we’ve had to bounce back all year through adversity,” Thompson said on ESPN. “Not a better group to do it than these guys. We came out, the offense was smooth, the turnovers were low, we hit the open man. We keep it simple and the floodgates have opened.
The Lakers, after repelling Golden State in a tight opener behind a huge night from Anthony Davis, got off to a good start Thursday night. They took a seven-point lead after the first 12 minutes and fell five to 3-pointers in the first quarter. However, that’s when things changed completely.
Golden State opened the second quarter on a 14-4 run before outscoring the Lakers 18 in the period. Thompson had 19 of his 30 points in the first half behind five 3-pointers, which completely robbed the Lakers of any momentum at the break. Perhaps most important, Golden State stopped Davis in the first 24 minutes. Davis, after scoring 30 points and grabbing 23 rebounds in Game 1, was limited to just four points in the first half.
Their dominating display didn’t stop there. The Warriors stretched their lead to 30 points late in the third quarter and had 110 points as a team. This marked the most points ever against the Lakers in a playoff game.
By then it was far too late. The Warriors took the win by 27 points, which tied the series before heading to Los Angeles.
James, who had 21 points at halftime, finished with 23 points in the loss. His only second-half bucket came on a mid-range jumper early in the third quarter. He finished with seven rebounds and three assists, and shot 10 of 18 from the field. Rui Hachimura added 21 points off the bench and Davis finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Curry finished with 20 points and 12 assists to go along with Thompson’s 30-point night. The Warriors made 21 3-pointers as a team and shot 50 percent from behind the arc. JaMychal Green, who started in place of Kevon Looney, finished with 15 points, and Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green added 11 points. Looney, who came off the bench while battling illness, finished with six points and eight rebounds in 12 minutes. He’s recorded four games so far this postseason with at least 20 rebounds.
“He’s the best version of Klay, when he’s really offensive but takes great shots,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Thompson. “That’s what I liked tonight, I just thought we had some really good shots… The fact that the guys weren’t forcing anything, the ball was moving, they were moving it to the open guy, and obviously Klay can become very hot, very fast It’s more likely to happen when we move the ball like we did tonight.
Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Saturday at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. If the Warriors look like they did on Thursday night and turn Davis into a no-factor again, it could be easy for Golden State to reach its seventh Western Conference Finals streak in nine years.