CHICAGO, United States, Oct 30 – Klay Thompson scored a record-breaking 14 three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors maintained their blistering start to the season with a 149-124 demolition of the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Thompson broke teammate Stephen Curry’s NBA record for most three-point field goals in a single game of 13 when he nailed his 14th three of the night midway through the third quarter at the United Center.
The 28-year-old Thompson — who has struggled to find his scoring touch in the opening weeks of the season — finished the game with 52 points as the Warriors improved to 6-1 in the Western Conference.
Thompson later revealed Curry had urged him to go for his record as he continued to drain a series of three-pointers.
“Before I went out for the second half, Steph just looked at the box score and said ‘Go get it,’” Thompson told reporters.
“That shows the unselfishness that’s within him. Same with K.D (Kevin Durant), Draymond (Green) and everyone else that was out there on the floor with me, just trying to find me and give me good looks,” he added.
“I forced a few bad shots, but I was so anxious. Anytime there’s an NBA record at stake you kind of get a little nervous.
“I’m just so blessed to be able to play with the guys I do. It was an amazing night that I’ll never forget.”
-Set the tone
Thompson had set the tone for a superb display in the first quarter when he exploded for 22 points to help the reigning NBA champions surge into a 44-28 lead.
The Dubs put up another 48 points in the second quarter, and reached the halftime buzzer leading by an incredible 42-point margin at 92-50.
With the game as good as won, it became simply a question of whether the red-hot Thompson would surpass Curry’s three-pointer benchmark.
Thompson tied Curry’s mark with his 13th three of the night with 7:12 remaining in the third quarter and then bagged his 14th with just under five minutes left after coolly draining a shot from the edge of the arc.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said he was unaware that the team were doing their best to engineer Thompson’s record-breaking night.
“I didn’t even realise what was happening record-wise until they called a time out in the third quarter,” Kerr said.
“I heard Klay saying ‘two more, two more’ and I didn’t even know who had the record at that point…At that point the guys were just feeding Klay and felt for him because he’s had a rough start to the season. But he got it going tonight to say the least.”
Unsurprisingly, Thompson’s 52-point haul led the scoring with Curry adding 23 points and laying on five assists.
Durant had 14 points while Alfonzo McKinnie came off the bench to weigh in with 19 points. Quinn Cook also had 14 points off the bench.
– Perfect Bucks down Raptors –
Elsewhere on Monday, the eagerly anticipated match-up between the league’s last two unbeaten teams, the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto and Milwaukee, saw the Bucks run out winners by 124-109.
The Bucks were missing Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol earlier Monday after suffering a blow to the head against Orlando at the weekend.
The Raptors meanwhile were missing Kawhi Leonard, opting to rest the star forward for the contest.
With Antetokounmpo missing, the Bucks spread the scoring around with no fewer than seven players reaching double figures.
Ersan Ilyasova led the scoring with 19 points while Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe both had 17 points apiece.
The Bucks now lead the Eastern Conference with seven wins out of seven and are off to their best start since 1971-1972, a season after the club won its only NBA crown.
In Minnesota, LeBron James scored 29 points but it was not enough to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers sliding to their fifth defeat of the season in a 124-120 loss to the Timberwolves.
James led the scoring for the visitors but the Lakers were outgunned by the Timberwolves Jimmy Butler, who had 32 points. Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 points and shooting guard Josh Okogie had 17 points.
Derrick Rose (11) and Anthony Tolliver (10) each chipped in with double-digit tallies off the bench for the Timberwolves, who improved to 3-4.
In Philadelphia, Ben Simmons led the 76ers to a 113-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center.