On the bright side, Stephen Curry, spearhead of the Dubs’ game-changing attack, seems every bit as capable of leading a championship run as he has been en route to four titles.
His supporting cast, though, including the two other members of Golden State’s vaunted Big 3, haven’t been able to stave off Father Time as well as their leader has. Draymond Green has shown his own signs of regression, but Klay Thompson’s age and history of daunting injuries have caught up to the once unstoppable microwave shooter.
There’s certainly a chance that the Warriors could regain their standing among the NBA’s premier contenders, especially with Curry still operating as a bonafide superstar, but Thompson won’t likely be a feature part of any deep postseason runs that Golden State might make moving forward.
The Warriors were rewarded with their fourth championship for their loyalty to their core pieces, but the time to bid farewell is fast approaching. It’s important for fans to cherish the waning moments that Thompson has left with the team and celebrate the instances that made him a legend in the Bay Area.
Klay Thompson Heats Up in Historic Fashion
While Thompson is still a lethal shooter, particularly from beyond the arc, the stretches where he goes unconscious and becomes seemingly infallible have grown fewer and farther in between. Thankfully, the second Splash Brother has given Golden State fans plenty of material to reminisce on in between his explosive scoring outbursts.
Chief among his supernova performances was a game that feels like it came from another era, before the start of the Warriors dynasty, yet it came just nine years ago. In late January of 2015, the Dubs found themselves in a tightly contested battle against a lesser Sacramento Kings team.
Two minutes into the third quarter, the match was deadlocked at 58 points a piece, and then, Klay Thompson arrived. He had started the game just 3-9 to that point. Then, he hit a spinning midrange jumper to give the Dubs the lead.
Shortly after that, he came away with a steal on the other end that turned into a pull-up triple for himself — another make. Then came another, and another, and another, and another.
By the end of the third quarter, Thompson had wrapped up the third period with an unfathomable 37 points, shattering his teammate Curry’s previous record of 28 for most points by a player in a single quarter at that time. To this day, Thompson’s mark still holds the record.
That wasn’t the only record he broke that night. En route to that historic period, Thompson went 9-9 from 3-point land, which was also a league-leading feat. His 13-13 showing from the field tied an NBA mark for most field goals made in a single period.
Will We Ever See That Klay Thompson Again?
The NBA world won’t soon forget Thompson’s earth-shattering performance, but as he trudged through the twilight of his career, it’s important to rehash feats as legendary as this one.
For what it’s worth, moments like these are why the Warriors organization and its fans are so reluctant to give up on Thompson. His struggles so far this season could very well end up being like his 3-9 start against the Kings back then, a precursor to set the stage for him to rise from the ashes like a phoenix: ablaze, magnificent, and beyond this earthly realm.
At the least, he could give Golden State one more incendiary performance before his departure.
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