Klay Thompson Must Produce Consistently for Warriors to Vanquish Spurs

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Klay Thompson Must Produce Consistently for Warriors to Vanquish Spurs
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On Wednesday night, the Golden State Warriors tied up their second-round series with the San Antonio Spurs. Much of the credit for the exciting, 100-91 victory belongs to Klay Thompson, the Dubs’ sophomore sniper.

The off-guard picked up right where Stephen Curry left off in Game 1, putting the Warriors on his back and draining shot after shot. He finished with 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting, including a blistering 8-of-9 from beyond the arc.

Game 2 highlights

Factor in his 47 minutes, 14 rebounds, three steals, one assist, blocked shot and single turnover, and you are looking at a complete performance from this blossoming young star.

In fact, the Warriors may have been looking at being up 2-0 and heading home with a real chance to sweep the Spurs from the Western Conference semifinals this coming week.

Game 1 highlights

Unfortunately, Thompson couldn’t avoid foul trouble in the opening game and was held to just 19 points—with no three-pointers—before picking up his sixth after 32 minutes of play. Golden State would go on to lose in a double-overtime thriller.

He was the missing sidekick for Curry in that contest, as the elite point guard went off for 44 points and 11 assists over 58 minutes.

Curry just ran out of gas down the stretch and had no reliable second option with Thompson glued to the bench, enabling San Antonio to remain in contention down the stretch and ultimately win it on a last-second trey from Manu Ginobili.

As long as Thompson is on the court for big minutes and producing reliably in the backcourt with Curry, the Spurs are going to have a lot of trouble winning either of these upcoming matchups at Oracle Arena.

Just look at the scoring numbers from the first two games of this series between the two.

Player

FGM

FGA

FG%

3PTM

3PTA

3PT%

PTS

MIN

Stephen Curry

12.5

27.5

45.5

4.0

10.0

40.0

33.0

50.5

Klay Thompson

10.5

20.5

51.2

4.0

6.5

61.5

26.5

39.2

Count head coach Mark Jackson among those who are not surprised at this type of production, as SportsCenter noted on Twitter:

San Antonio simply looks too old and slow to hang with the Warriors' young guns, a team that gives big postseason minutes to three rookies—Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes—relies heavily on a second-year guy in Thompson and employs a four-year vet in Curry as its superstar.

How will Thompson perform in the rest of this series?

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While David Lee was the second option, the All-Star power forward has only played a single minute since suffering a torn hip flexor in Game 1 of the Dubs' first-round series against the Denver Nuggets.

Thompson has picked up his slack and become the player Curry and the Warriors need to make a run to the Western Conference finals—if he can keep up this incredible stretch of play.

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