THE AP: SAN FRANCISCO Klay Thompson continued to shoot and handled the offensive load the Golden State Warriors were missing without their defending NBA Finals MVP while star teammate Stephen Curry was injured.
Jordan Poole started in Curry's place and added 21 points and a career-high 12 assists as the Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-114 on Monday night. Thompson led the way with 42 points and a season-high 12 three-pointers.
Thompson played a terrific game, according to Draymond Green.
We required it. We haven't won in a landslide in a while. It's excellent to have this, especially since it's the first game without Steph. It was wise to get out to a strong start and try to build some momentum.
With 4:41 remaining, Thompson went down for the evening to a standing ovation after finishing 15 for 22 from the field and 12 of 16 on threes. In NBA history, Splash Brother Curry has made 22 more 3-pointers than Thompson has made in eight of his most recent games.
To play without him is undoubtedly a confidence booster, but Steve Kerr also praised the team's performance and the outstanding individual efforts of his players. “For many people, it was a feel-good game, and that really really fuels everyone. Hopefully we can maintain that.
Golden State's first game after Curry went down with a left leg injury late in the third quarter of Saturday's victory over Dallas saw Andrew Wiggins score 18 points, and the Warriors finished 26 of 50 from 3-point range without the league's all-time leading 3-point shooter.
They also didn't disappoint late, which has been a worry and source of irritation for Kerr lately.
The most enjoyable time Kerr had all season watching his team was when they won.
Thompson scored 27 points at the half, shooting 10 of 14 from the field and 7 of 9 from beyond the arc as the Warriors held a 60-53 advantage. Poole provided five assists in the first frame before assisting Golden State's 19-7 run to open the third frame, which helped them pull away for their eighth consecutive victory in the series.
“Jordan was outstanding, playing one of his best games ever in my opinion,” I said. He was simply in total charge, according to Kerr.
For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 points, Aaron Wiggins had 19, and Tre Mann had 18 points while serving as a reserve. Following a home victory over Houston on Saturday in which the Thunder scored a franchise-record 153 points, Oklahoma City struggled in the first game of a back-to-back on the road. Josh Giddey provided 15 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.