Steve Kerr said he had no flashbacks watching Steph Curry and Klay Thompson drain 3 points at Paycom Center Monday night in the Warriors’ 128-120 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he was tough not to think of the past when watching the Splash Brothers shine against their former rivals.
Gone are the days of Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut battling Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. The Thunder are young, fun and building their next star cluster.
A new rivalry could one day erupt against Thunder stars such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams, a healthy Lou Dort and after Chet Holmgren makes his NBA debut.
For the Warriors, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Patrick Baldwin Jr., James Wiseman, Moses Moody and the rest of the young Dubs could lead the way. But Monday night at OKC, it was time for Steph and Klay to make it rain on the Thunder again.
The two combined to score 66 points. They made 53.7% of their 41 shots, 50% of their 28 3-pointers and all of their eight free throws were missed. Curry led the way with a game-high 38 points, going 12-for-20 from the field, 8-for-14 from deep and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Thompson added 28 points as he went 10 for 21 overall, 6 for 14 from beyond the arc and 2 for 2 on free throws.
The two snipers set the tone from the start.
Curry scored 13 points in the first quarter and was a plus-18 over/under as the Warriors entered the second with a 38-20 lead. He had five of his seven shots and three of his four tries from long range. Thompson was going blow for blow with him, scoring 10 while going 4 for 5 from the field and 2 for 3 from three.
“You have to play the full 48,” Steve Kerr told reporters after the win. “The start we got, however, set the tone for the game. We played a great first quarter and they had to swim uphill for the last three quarters. hold back. ”
In that first quarter, the Warriors made 15 shots and all 15 were assisted. Their first 18 shots made were off assists. The streak ended when Jordan Poole dribbled past and around four different players on the Thunder before completing a fancy finger roll.
A game after the Warriors dished out 40 assists in a win over the Toronto Raptors, they totaled 37 assists on Monday against the Thunder. Curry had 11 assists on Friday. This time he has outdone himself.
He and Draymond Green each topped all players with 12 assists apiece.
“Oh, that first quarter was beautiful,” Thompson said. “I think the ball was buzzing.”
The second half of Curry’s 12 shots was the most important. After dropping 18 points in the first half, he scored 20 in the second half. But the one that made the most sense was his seventh basket of the night, a solid edge finish.
That gave him 7,217 field goals for his career, passing all-time great Wilt Chamberlain for the most in Warriors franchise history.
“What a legendary achievement,” said Thompson. “I mean, Wilt Chamberlain is one of the greatest athletes to ever walk this earth. The fact that Steph was able to do this a foot shorter than him is special.”
In the aftermath, the Warriors received contributions from a handful of players in the victory. Thompson scored the most of the eight players who saw action in the fourth quarter, with nine points, three successful shots, two free throws and an emphatic dunk.
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The Warriors finished January with a 7-6 record. Thompson played in 10 of those 13 games and had his best month yet this season. He averaged 27 points on 45.9% shooting, 43.1% on 3-pointers and 90.9% on free throws.
Returning from his left shoulder injury on Jan. 10, Curry put an exclamation mark on the month as the Warriors won their third straight game and earned their first road winning streak this season. In nine games this month, he’s averaged 29.1 points and 5.8 assists, shooting 47.8% from the field and 40.8% from downtown.
What’s been a slow start to the month has been about as good as Curry and the Warriors could have hoped for.
“Just really fluid with the ball, running off the ball – off the screens – playing good defense, rebounding,” Kerr said of Curry. “He was just quick on the ball and looked fantastic there.”
The rivalry between the Warriors and Thunder is long over, for now. Steph and Klay’s nights that light it up are still here to stay.
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