Warriors observations: Klay Thompson erupts for 41 in first road win of season


After looking for a win for nearly five weeks on the road, the Warriors finally found a Sunday in Houston.

Their 127-120 victory over the Rockets at the Toyota Center snapped their eight-game losing streak and put them one game away from reaching 500.

It was by no means a smooth victory over the team with the worst record in the Western Conference, as the Warriors tortured themselves with turnover loss in rebounding fundamentals that kept Houston in the game.

Stephen Curry made sure they didn’t give it away, scoring 25 points in the second half, including a 29-foot fallaway jumper that shut the Rockets down with 34.9 seconds to play. For good measure, he dropped his signature “night night” celebration.

Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Curry combined for 96 points – and a stunning 23 of 38 shots from outside the arc.

Here are three observations from the night that let the Warriors (8-9) and Dub Nation collectively breathe a sigh of relief:

Floodgates open for Klay

After another frustratingly inefficient game in a Warriors loss in Sacramento a week ago, Thompson took to Instagram and made a vow:

“My conviction is stronger than your doubt. I promise you it’s coming. And when that happens, the floodgates open.”

The floodgates did indeed open in the first nine minutes after the tip, a period in which Klay, who made his first six shots, scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from range.

When Thompson was knocked out with 3:03 left in the first quarter, the Warriors had a 32–18 lead.

Thompson stayed in or near “the zone” throughout the game, submitting his first 30-point game of the season and finishing with a season-high 41, on 14-of-23 shooting, including 10-of-13 from outside the arc.

The talk of putting Klay on the bench subsided on Friday after he scored 20 points and shot 50 percent from the field for the first time this season. His performance in this game should silence it for good.

Second Unit Blues strikes again

The Warriors used the first 12 minutes to put up their most productive quarter of the season, taking a 40–28 second quarter lead.

The Rockets took less than three minutes against the second unit to clear the 12-point deficit and took a 41-40 lead with 9:25 going into the half.

As Golden State opened the second quarter with an almost full second unit—Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga with starting center Kevon Looney—the defense turned to cookie dough and turnovers came in waves.

Houston made his first five shots, scored eight points on five Golden State turnovers and finished the quarter with 63.2 percent from the field.

There have been many games this season where the Warriors fell victim to their Second Unit shortcomings, but this was perhaps the most extreme case of the Second Unit Blues.

It will be extremely difficult to establish anything positive along the way, let alone win matches, if this continues.

Steph’s shadow excellence

While Thompson made his mark on the game in the first quarter, Curry failed to score a single point and only took two shots.

Meanwhile, he recorded seven assists, which speaks to his willingness to keep feeding his hot teammate and biding his time until his score was needed.

That came in the third quarter. The Warriors trailed 65-61 at the halfway point, but Curry turned the game their way, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from distance. The Warriors took a three-run lead into the fourth inning and they needed every run.

Curry finished with 33 points, a season-high 15 assists – with just one turnover. He played 37 minutes and finished with a team-best plus-22.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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