OAKLAND, Calif. – Former Washington State Cougars star Klay Thompson had an NBA season-high and career-best 60 points for the highest-scoring performance by a Golden State player in more than 42 years, and the Warriors whipped the Indiana Pacers 142-106 on Monday night.
Thompson raised his arms to encourage more of those steady “KLAY! KLAY! KLAY!” chants then let it fly again and again. He had 60 through three quarters and called it a night, sitting down with 1:22 left in the period as fans jumped to their feet for an extended standing ovation.
He scored 40 by halftime in just 18-plus minutes.
Thompson joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors to score 60 points. Barry was the last to do so, going off for 64 on March 26, 1974, against Portland.
Thompson shot 21 for 33 and 8 of 14 on 3-pointers – 15 of 22 with five 3s in the first two quarters – and converted 10 of 11 free throws in 29 minutes. When he knocked down a baseline 3 midway through the second quarter right in front of a resting Curry on the bench, the shot sent the MVP into a tunnel-dashing frenzy of delight.
Previously this season the highest scorers were Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook with 51 in an overtime game and Anthony Davis with 50 in regulation for the Pelicans.
Kevin Durant added 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks for Golden State in another display of impressive passing. The Warriors’ 15 first-quarter assists matched a franchise record done twice previously and they wound up with 45 total – two off the franchise record they set Nov. 24 against the Lakers.
In one sensational third-quarter play worthy of the highlight reel, Thompson had no part: Off a jump ball, Draymond Green hit Curry with a long heave and Curry made a leaping, one-touch pass to Durant for the dazzling alley-oop. Curry had 13 points and 11 assists.
Thompson scored 17 points in just under 9 minutes to begin the game and Golden State had 15 assists on its initial 17 baskets and led 38-27 after the first.
Golden State beat the healthy Pacers this time. The Warriors won in Indiana 120-83 on the second night of a back-to-back for the Pacers on Nov. 21 when they were missing Paul George, Myles Turner and C.J. Miles.
This time the Pacers again played on consecutive nights but at full strength following a comeback win at the Clippers for just their second road victory.
George had 21 points and 10 rebounds a night after playing nearly 34 minutes and much of that with tissue in his bloody nose.
Monta Ellis, who spent the first 6 1/2 years of his career with Golden State, was held to nine against his former team and received a warm welcome when announced before the game.