On Monday, May 29, 2015, the Golden State Warriors faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. This was the final game of the series, which had been dubbed as being “must-win” by many observers. As the game began, the Warriors were down 3-2 in the series and needed a victory to force a decisive Game 7 at the Oakland Coliseum, the city’s home arena, on Sunday.
The NBA has been around for a long, long time, but never has a player become so emotionally involved in the outcome of a playoff series as Klay Thompson is now. The Golden State shooting guard played a huge part in reassuring his teammates and coaching staff that they were not overlooking the opponent in the wake of a devastating loss. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Klay Thompson had an amazing season for the Golden State Warriors last year, finishing fifth in the MVP race. The usual suspects gave the nod to Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook. But no one gave Klay Thompson MVP consideration. Not the voters, not the media, and not the Warriors’ head coach, Steve Kerr. But he was a lock to win MVP in 2014, as it was his first full season as the team’s full-time starter. So why didn’t he win?
Golden State Warriors guard Clay Thompson during Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Given the number of injuries Clay Thompson has suffered over the past two seasons, the last time he was on the field may seem like an eternity. But despite Thompson’s absence and the premature end of the Golden State Warriors’ 2020-2021 season, the Oaks Nation was able to take a joyful walk down memory lane Friday to address his concerns.
On that day five years ago, the 31-year-old son of former player and two-time NBA champion Michal Thompson delivered an outstanding performance when the Warriors needed him most.
Thompson, game 6.
Five years ago today, @KlayThompson showed one of the most memorable shots in @NBA postseason history ☔️ pic.twitter.com/EU4ZO5QFhg
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 28, 2021
So Clay was born out of Game 6.
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Thompson’s totals on his epic night don’t reflect his play, but the numbers included 41 points on 14-31 shooting. What clearly stands out, however, is a record of 11 three-point shots on 18 field goal attempts.
That’s not to say Thompson’s results came out of nowhere. No. 11 was entering his fifth season, averaging 22.1 points per game in the regular season and emerging as an elite defender.
For Thompson’s 28th birthday last season. As of May 2016, he scored 52 points, was a two-time All-Star and had one NBA title to his name.
Splash Brothers duo Steven Curry added four rebounds, a block and a steal in the second half.
Thompson’s historic game came at a crucial time in the Warriors’dynasty.
It may be a bit of a stretch to write that the recent Warriors dynasty would not have existed if it weren’t for Clay’s Game 6. However, it is impossible not to notice how crucial the moment was when Thompson left the game dramatically.
Despite becoming the defending champion and compiling a record 73 wins in the regular season, securing first place in the West, Golden State struggled in the 2016 Western Conference Finals against the third-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Led by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant – who spent his final season with the Thunder – OKC managed to split the first two games of the series in the Bay Area, before winning games three and four at home.
The Warriors were able to defend their home field in Game 5, but they needed a win in a sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena to advance to Game 7.
Thompson had a good game after three quarters – 22 points with 8-for-21 shooting from the field and 6-for-12 from beyond the arc – but the Warriors lost 83-75. With his season and perhaps his dynasty on the line, Thompson lost his nerve in the fourth set.
He played all 12 minutes of the final period, scoring 19 of the team’s 33 points and converting five of his six distance shots. The Warriors won 108-101 before losing Game 7 by seven games to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Durant will soon be moving to California where he will spend three successful years and Dub Nation will be fine.
What record has Thompson broken?
When you consider that the number of three-point attempts seems to increase exponentially each season, it’s impressive that Thompson’s record for most shots in a playoff game still stands. When Thompson hit his tenth three-pointer in the OKC game, he surpassed the record of nine points held by Jason Terry, Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Rex Chapman.
Allen is the only person to score nine times beyond the arc twice in the postseason: in 2001 for the Milwaukee Bucks and in 2009 for the Boston Celtics. Since Thompson took 11 shots in 2016, five players have taken nine shots – including Curry twice and Thompson once – and Damian Lillard has taken 10 shots from distance in the 2019 playoffs.
But five years later, Clay Thompson is still on the sidelines.
READ MORE: Draymond Green meets Warriors management to discuss key issuesAccording to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Warriors are the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals since the Lakers did it in 1991 against the Pistons. And this year’s Warriors, who trailed 3-1 after Game 5, have done it against the greatest player of all-time, the GOAT—LeBron James.. Read more about klay thompson injury and let us know what you think.
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