Klay Thompson went off for 30 points as the Golden State Warriors evened the series with a 127-100 win over the Lakers, a blowout so thorough that LeBron James and Anthony Davis were benched the entire fourth quarter.
Your Golden State Warriors’ five-time all-star Klay Thompson had not had one of his signature monster games thus far in the 2023 NBA playoffs. But that changed Thursday night, with the Warriors down 0-1 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, as Thompson exploded for 30 points and was 8-11 from three-point range (yes, he shot 73% on three-pointers). The Warriors used their patented third-quarter blowout mentality to demolish the Lakers 127-100 at the Chase Center, an annihilation so severe that Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis both spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench.
Playoff games are all about adjustments, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr made the right moves. After Lakers center Anthony Davis was a problem the Warriors just could not solve in Game 1, torching the Warriors’ first-round star Kevon Looney for 30 points and 23 rebounds. But Kerr put the smaller Draymond Green on Davis Thursday night, and Green effectively erased Davis from the game. Davis did not score his second basket until 3:30 before halftime.
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE D, GUYS I just yelled without a hint of irony— shauna (@goldengateblond) May 5, 2023
The Warriors actually had a lousy first quarter, when literal graybeard LeBron James had 14 points in the quarter, and the Dubs were down seven at the end of the first. But a series of second quarter events, with a challenge on a foul to LeBron reversing a call and then a Lakers assistant coach getting a technical, had the Warriors suddenly up 10 with 2:30 left in the first half.
KLAY THOMPSON— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 5, 2023
Seven threes (& counting) pic.twitter.com/wkgdz8gvea
And then the Warriors did their “Unstoppable, baby!” third quarter thing, walloping L.A. with 43 points in that quarter. The above video shows Klay hitting what would effectively be the dagger shot in the early third, giving them an 18-point lead (look for a George Kittle cameo in that video). LeBron and AD were both left on the bench for the whole lost-cause fourth quarter, and Steph Curry had a very early end to his night too.
30 minutes for Curry tonight— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 5, 2023
28 for LeBron
33 for AD
One day off before Game 3 in LA
Playoff plotlines can take weird turns in a course of 48 hours, but the extra rest is likely to help James and Davis for Game 3 (Curry too). This series is now tied 1-1, with Game 3 on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lakers’ stupid crypto-named arena in Los Angeles.
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors drives against D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in game two of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 04, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)