Distance wasn’t an obstacle for Thompson Saturday night, as he set a playoff record by connecting 11 times from 3-point range, keeping Golden State’s title defense alive.
By the time he was finished, Thompson poured in 41 points, his personal playoff career-high. Thompson added 19 of his points in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors left Oklahoma City with a 108-101 Game 6 victory.
To start the fourth quarter, Thompson buried four shots from 3-point range, dragging his team back into the game along the way, and then snapped a tie at 101 with a shot from the right wing, his preferred shooting spot on the night, keeping Golden State’s 73-win campaign alive.
Aside from Curry — the reigning MVP finished with 31 points on the night — the rest of his team struggled to find its shooting touch as the nine other players on the team combined to score 36 points on 37.1 percent shooting from the field.
Anytime the offense stagnated, the ball found its way into Thompson’s hands, and he delivered. Thompson connected on 61 percent of his attempts from 3-point range, even as defenders abandoned their defensive assignments in an attempt to alter his shot.
Thompson never hesitated in the fourth quarter, squaring his feet and firing no matter how far away from the basket he was located.
The proficiency even left his coach in awe.
“Klay Thompson was ridiculous,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “His shooting was some of the most incredible shooting you will ever see.”
The performance was the best single performance for Thompson as he has been the most consistent scoring option for the Warriors in the 2016 playoffs.
Thompson is averaging a team-high 26.5 points per game (fourth best in the league) during the post season while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 44.5 percent from 3-point range.
The 11 conversions from 3-point range increased his total to 71 in the playoffs, 22 more than any other player in the league.
The 26-year-old etched his name into the record books, surpassing Jason Terry, Rex Chapman, Vince Carter and Ray Allen (twice) as they all shared the record for most 3-point conversions in a playoff game, as each player knocked down 10 shots from 3-point range.
Any doubt of Thompson’s place among the elite players in the league were erased Saturday night, as he outscored the Thunder by himself (19 to 18) in the fourth quarter, as he connected on 6-of-9 shots from the field.
In 16 playoff appearances this year, Thompson has scored 25 or more points on 10 occasions, including each of the last three games in the Western Conference finals.
Along with his scoring productivity, Thompson also routinely draws the toughest defensive assignments for the Warriors, frequently shifting with Curry to defend Russell Westbrook.
Curry, the first unanimous MVP in league history, and Draymond Green, the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting, frequently receive the majority of attention in the media, but there is little question Thompson has been the most complete in the series.
Against the Thunder, Thompson is averaging 25.3 points, has connected 24 times from 3-point range to go along with 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a steal per game in the series.
Once Thompson snapped the tie with just over 90 seconds remaining, the Thunder began to press and it backfired.
During the final six possessions of the game, Oklahoma City turned the ball over five times and the only shot the team attempted, a 3-pointer from Kevin Durant, missed badly.
Oklahoma City was forced to foul Thompson with eight seconds remaining in an attempt to extend the game.
Instead, Thompson capped his performance with two free throws, leaving the sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena in stunned silence.
Golden State still has an opportunity to solidify itself as the greatest team in NBA history, after winning a 73 games during the regular season, the most any professional sports team in the United States has ever tallied.
The team has a chance to once again face Cleveland in the NBA Finals as a result of the best individual playoff performance Thompson has ever submitted.