The way the Sacramento Kings have played recently, many in the Kingdom hoped that the team would just be competitive against the league-leading Golden State Warriors. Until about 8 minutes remaining in the third quarter, they got exactly that, with the score tied at 60.
Then the fireworks started.
Klay Thompson single-handedly ended the game with a veritable tsunami of scoring the likes of which hasn't been matched in NBA history. Thompson scored 37 total points in that quarter, burying every one of his 13 shots, including an NBA record NINE three pointers. He scored them in every way imaginable. Isolation fadeaways. Coming off of curls. Pulling up three feet BEHIND the three point line. Staring down defenders and just using his lightning quick release without moving. It was ridiculous. By the time the onslaught was over, the Kings were down by 24 and the game was over. Thompson ended with 52 points in the game, a Kings franchise record for an opponent in regulation.
Up until that point, the game was going relatively well. DeMarcus Cousins exorcised his Andrew Bogut demons in a huge way, dropping 26 of his 28 points before Thompson's supernova. Darren Collison had 15 points total in the game and was doing a great job defending Stephen Curry, who only had 10 points on 3/11 shooting. Quincy Miller and Nik Stauskas were both really productive off the bench. Miller stepped up after Rudy Gay was ejected early, scoring 13 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and blocking 2 shots. Stauskas looked smooth offensively, scoring 11 and hitting both of his three pointers. Both teams were incredibly sloppy with really boneheaded turnovers going each way, but the Kings scrapped just hard enough to make it a game.
But it just doesn't matter anymore. Sometimes, superstar talent just drowns out everything a team can do. That happened tonight, and you have to tip your hat to the opponent. It can suck being on the wrong side of history, but with proper perspective, you just have to tip your cap and move on to the next one.
Klay Thompson the opponent's perspective, visit Klay Golden State of Mind.