On the verge of elimination, Klay Thompson would not let the Golden State Warriors’ season to die.
And so he shot and he shot and he shot. Normally he has been the sidekick to MVP Steph Curry, but with Curry struggling for much of the Western Conference finals, it was Thompson who came though on Saturday, hitting an NBA playoffs record 11 three-point shots in the Warriors 108-101 victory over Oklahoma City in Game 6 on Saturday night.
“Nobody wanted to (go home),” he said after the game, his 41 points having silenced a roaring crowd in Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Arena.
On the verge of elimination, Golden State, who set a league record with 73 regular-season wins, salvaged a season that was slipping away by overturning a seven-point deficit with 5:00 left – by doing something they hadn’t done much in the previous 5 ½ games: play defense. They held the Thunder to just one basket and three free throws in those final 5:00.
Now the Warriors go back to Oakland’s Oracle Arena for Monday night’s Game 7, where they will be heavily favored to earn their second-straight finals appearance.
On the verge of elimination, Curry turned back into Curry. His struggles in the first games of the series disappeared in those final 5:00 on Saturday night when he hit two smooth, confident three-pointers like the kind he used to make before the Thunder began knocking him around the court.
He scored 10 points in that last burst, batted away Oklahoma City players’ passes, and looked everything like the player who had been missing the last two weeks. Just when the Warriors needed him.